Objective: To compare genotypes of Candida albicans strains causing different conditions of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) in Chinese women.
Methods: C albicans strains were isolated from the vaginas of patients with different conditions of VVC. The genotypes of the strains were investigated based on single-strand conformation polymorphisms (SSCP) of the PCR amplified microsatellite locus CAI.
Results: A total of 93 independent C albicans strains was isolated from patients with mild-to-moderate (n = 37) or severe (n = 56) VVC. Thirty of the patients enrolled suffered recurrent VVC. Twenty-six distinct genotypes tentatively designated as A to Z were identified from the 93 C albicans strains compared on the basis of their CAI SSCP patterns. The majority (72.0%) of the strains possessed genotypes A to D, which were similar in the CAI SSCP profiles and were designated as the dominant genotypes. The overall frequencies of the four dominant genotypes were 87.5% (49/56) and 48.6% (18/37; p<0.001) in the C albicans strains from patients with severe and mild-to-moderate VVC, respectively. The strains with the dominant genotypes occupied 83.3% (25/30) and 66.7% (42/63; p = 0.094) in the C albicans strains from patients with recurrent VVC and sporadic VVC, respectively.
Conclusion: The frequency of C albicans strains with the dominant genotypes (A to D) from patients with severe VVC was significantly higher than that from patients with mild-to-moderate VVC, implying that the CAI genotype distribution of C albicans strains correlates with the severity of VVC.
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Funding: This study was supported by grants 2004BA720A05-01 to QPL and 2004BA720A05-02 to FYB from the Key Technologies R&D Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China.
Competing interests: None declared.
Contributors: QPL and FYB were the principal investigators for the study; SRF and QPL contributed to the design of the clinic study; FYB and JL contributed to the design of the laboratory study; SRF, QPL and XPL performed the clinic work; JL, FYB, XPL and ZHL performed the laboratory work; JL and SRF performed the statistical analyses; FYB, SRF, and QPL wrote the paper.