Vaginal Candida infection in pregnancy and its implications for fetal well-being

Adewale O Sule-Odu, Adebayo A Akadri, Adedayo A Oluwole, Olubunmi A Osinupebi, Babatunde A Andu, Adeniyi K Akiseku, Akinlade I Lawal


Vaginal Candida infection is one of the most common genital tract infections reported in pregnant women. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of vaginal Candida infection and pattern of Candida species isolates in the genital tract of pregnant women during antenatal period and in early labour; and the associated fetal outcome. The study was conducted at the antenatal clinic and labor ward of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. High vaginal swabs were collected from 408 pregnant women at the antenatal clinic and repeated in early labour. The samples were processed to isolate Candida species. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) windows version 21.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Prevalence of Candida infection was significantly higher in early labour (46%) than during antenatal period (38%) (P=0.02). Candida albicans was the predominant isolate, followed by Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis. Candida infection was associated with increased likelihood of low birth weight babies (AOR 2.8, CI: 1.1-6.8; P= 0.03). However there was no statistically significant effect of Candida infection on the likelihood of preterm delivery (AOR 1.4, CI: 0.7-2.6; P= 0.35). Routine screening and prompt treatment of women at risk of delivering low birth weight babies is advocated. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[3]: 33-40).

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