OBJECTIVE--To determine the agreement of culture results of Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis from the cervix versus posterior fornix in women with vaginal symptoms. DESIGN--Same patient comparison of culture results from two sample sites. SETTING--Twenty one general practices in Amsterdam and the east of the Netherlands. SUBJECTS--Six hundred and eighty two women aged 15 to 55 years with vaginal symptoms, seen between 1 October 1987 and 31 May 1990. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--For each site (cervix and posterior fornix) the proportion of detected C albicans and T vaginalis. The sensitivity of the cervical swab related to the vaginal one. The percentage of concordance for both microorganisms. RESULTS--In 248 (34%) women C albicans was diagnosed and in 38 (6%) T vaginalis. In 99% of the proven C albicans cases, the yeast was found in the vagina. In 94% C albicans was isolated from the cervix. Sensitivity of the cervical swab was 94%. In 98% of the patients a concordant observation was made regarding detection of yeast. In 97% of the proven T vaginalis cases the protozoon was found in the vagina. In 91% T vaginalis was detected from the cervical swab. Sensitivity of the cervical swab was 92%. The culture results were concordant in 99%. CONCLUSION--The yield from the vaginal source was slightly better than that from the cervix for culture of both microorganisms. For screening purposes, specimen-collection for culture of N gonorrhoeae, C albicans and T vaginalis can be combined in one swab taken from the cervix.
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