Background The diagnosis of candida balanitis should be based upon both clinical and mycological data. The procedure of material collection is a critical issue to confirm or rule out the clinical diagnosis of candida balanitis.
Objective To compare direct impression of the glans on the agar surface of solid culture media with the collection of genital exudates with cotton swab for the diagnosis of candida balanitis.
Methods A prospective cross-sectional study was carried out during a 36-month period. Sexually transmitted disease clinic attendees with balanitis and asymptomatic men were included. Specimens for yeast culture were collected from the glans penis and inner preputial layer using the direct impression on CHROMagar candida medium and by swabbing with a sterile cotton swab.
Results Among 478 men enrolled, 189 had balanitis. The prevalence of candida balanitis was 17.8% (85/478) confirmed after culture by direct impression; the swab method detected only 54/85 (63.5%) of these men. Of the 289 asymptomatic men, 36 (12.5%) yielded Candida spp; the swab method detected only 38.9% of these men. The risk of having candida balanitis is 8.9 (IC 95% 2.48 to 32.04) whenever the number of candida colonies recovered by direct impression was greater than 10.
Conclusions Direct impression on CHROMagar candida medium resulted in the highest Candida spp recovery rate. More than 10 colonies yielded by impression culture were statistically associated with candida balanitis. This method shows the ideal profile for sampling the male genital area for yeasts and should be included in the management of balanitis.
- laboratory diagnosis
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Funding This study received funding from Comissão de Fomento da Investigação em Cuidados de Saúde, Ministério da Saúde P.I. n° 84/2007.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hospital S João, Porto.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.