Molecular characterization of candida species associated with vulvovaginal candidiasis in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (WC) is one of the most common diagnoses made by gynaecologists the world over. Although it is rarely life threatening, the costs of the disease to patients and society are great. Candida albicans is the most common cause of WC; however other species, more resistant to antifungal drugs, are also involved. When the infecting species is known, it is possible to predict its susceptibility and the information can be used as a guide to therapy. However, identification of vaginal yeasts is based on phenotypic characteristics, which are unreliable and the exercise is laborious. This study identified species of the genus Candida that are associated with WC in symptomatic women of Dar es Salaam using molecular genetic approaches. Thirty yeast isolates were screened for C. albicans using nested-PCR that targeted two genes, ERG11 and TOP2. The isolates that were screened out as non-albicans Candida species were speciated using multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP targeting the 5.8S-ITS region of the ribosomal DNA. The isolate that could not be conclusively identified by any of the above methods, was identified by sequence analysis of the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rDNA. A phylogenetic inference with pathogenic Candida species reported elsewhere was done. C. albicans was the most prevalent (73.3%), followed by C. tropicalis (13.3%), C. glabrata (10%) and C. parapsilosis (3%). Species that cause WC in Dar es Salaam are closely related to those causing WC elsewhere in the world. The techniques used in this study were proved to be superior to traditional techniques which base on phenotypic characteristics. Multiplex PCR was the best technique because three different species (8 isolates) were rapidly and correctly identified by this method. For more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of WC in Tanzania, molecular genetic approaches empowered with sequence databases that exist for all yeasts described to date, should be used.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RG269.C35A52)
Candida species, Vulvovaginal candidiasis
Anacletus, V (2006) Molecular characterization of candida species associated with vulvovaginal candidiasis in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.