Prevalence of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis among Pregnant Women and Susceptibility of Candida Albicans to Antifungal Agents and Some Plant Extracts
Onwumah, C. R.
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The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC) among pregnant women and to ascertain the sensitivity of C. albicans to some antifungal drugs and plant extracts. Samples of high vaginal swabs were collected from 200 women (120 pregnant and 80 non pregnant women), and cultivated in Sabouraud Dextrose Agar(SDA).The samples were screened for the presence of C. albicans using wet mount, germ tube test and sugar fermentation test. Identified C. albicans isolates were subjected to susceptibility to antifungal screening, using conventional antifungal drugs and plant extracts. The result of the study showed that out of the 120 pregnant women tested, 61.7% were found to be infected with VVC, while 32.5% of non pregnant women were also positive for VVC. The most predominant Candida spp among each group tested, were C. albicans (50%), and C. glabrata (21.6%).The occurrence of VVC were more in primigravidae (59.5%) and in third trimester (60.8%).The antifungal drugs tested for its efficacy were all found to be effective but with varying MICs between 16mg/ml and 64mg/ml. Most of the C. albicans isolates were susceptible to the antifungals between 100% Fluconazole and 91.9% Itraconazole, but resistance was also observed 10.8% Itraconazole and 2.7% Miconazole. The ethanol extract of Allium sativum, Ocimum gratissimum and Vernonia amygdalina were active against the isolates with MICs of 25mg/ml, 50mg/ml and 100mg/ml respectively. However, the MICs of the aqueous extracts were 50mg/ml, 100mg/ml and 200mg/ml. The zone of inhibition of both extracts of Allium sativum ranges between 8-16mm, Ocimum gratissimum 4–14mm and Vernonia amygdalina 4-12mm.Conclusively the result of the investigation showed a high prevalence of VVC among pregnant women with C. albicans as the most common cause. Furthermore, the extracts of the plants studied have activity against C. albicans thus showing promise as alternative therapy for VVC.