Faculty of Medicine, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad Un iversity, Qom, Iran
Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
Department of Hematology, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Background and Purpose: Annually affecting millions of women, vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is commonly described by signs and symptoms of vulvovaginal inflammation in the presence of Candida species. Today, the detection of the virulence factors plays a major role in the understanding of pathogenesis of candidiasis and helps produce new anticandidial drugs to improve its treatment efficiency. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the esterase and hemolysin activities of the vaginal isolates of Candida and their relationship with the presence of VVC.
Materials and Methods: One-hundred vaginal clinical specimens were randomly collected during September-December 2016. The target population consisted of married women suspected of VVC who presented to health centers in Lorestan Province, Iran. In this study, the esterase activity and hemolysin production of Candida clinical isolates were evaluated using the Tween 80 opacity test and the plate assay, respectively.
Results: The most frequent Candida species was C. albicans (66; 66%), followed by C. glabrata (11; 11%) and C. tropicalis (11; 11%). The highest esterase activity was found in C. krusei (75%), followed by C. albicans (68.2%) and C. glabrata (54.5%). The greater part of the positive esterase isolates had Pz 4+ scores. Among the Candida species, C. albicans (22.7%), C. glabrata (63.6%), and C. krusei (50%) were found to have the highest rates of alpha, beta, and gamma hemolysin production, respectively. The level of hemolytic activity in 51% of the Candida species was Pz 4+ scores.
Conclusion: According to our results, the higher expression rates of both enzymes in C. albicans species relative to those of non-albicans Candidate species can partly reflect the role of the virulence factors involved in C. albicans pathogenicity.