Introduction The contribution of sexual transmission to genital Candida albicans infection remains unclear. Epidemiologic studies have shown that vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is associated with increased frequency of vaginal sex, receptive orogenital sex, and increased numbers of sexual partners. Correlation of candidal infection between sexual partners has been observed and studies using genotype comparison techniques suggest that genital C. albicans may be sexually transmitted. Nevertheless, conflicting evidence exists regarding treatment of male sexual partners of women with recurrent VVC. The objective of this study was to determine the concordance of C.albicans isolates among women who have sex with women (WSW) in sexual partnerships using the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique.
Methods WSW in sexual partnerships and participating in a cross-sectional study of STI prevalence at the Mississippi State Department of Health STD clinic in Jackson, MS were selected for this study if both women had genital isolates of C.albicans identified. Isolates were cultured by standard laboratory practises. DNA was extracted from pure culture. RAPD PCR was performed using 3 separate random oligomers to differentiate genotypic information. Banding patterns were standardised against a known sizing-ladder for hierarchical cluster analysis.
Results Among 196 WSW, 13 pairs of WSW in sexual partnerships were identified. 4 pairs consisted of exclusive WSW during the past 12 months, 1 pair of WSW reporting sex with both women and men (WSWM), and 8 pairs a mixture of WSW and WSWM. 11 WSW not in sexual partnerships were randomly selected and matched via distribution frequencies to the partnership group by age and history of sex with men. C.albicans isolates from a total of 36 participants fell into 13 banding patterns. Banding patterns were discordant between WSW in all 13 partnerships.
Conclusion This study found no evidence supporting sexual transmission of genital C.albicans isolates among WSW in sexual partnerships.
- Candida albicans