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Case controlled study into detection of vulvovaginal candidiasis

Latest research from the nursing and medical journals.

Latest research from the nursing and medical journals. Complied by Vari Drennan, professor of healthcare and policy research, St George’s University of London and Kingston University, London.

This case-control study investigated whether patient self-taken low vaginal swabs (LVS) are a valid alternative to high vaginal swabs (HVS) for the detection of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and bacterial vaginosis (BV). One hundred and four women with symptomatic vaginal discharge attending a sexual health centre in Newcastle were asked to provide a LVS before a vaginal examination and HVS was taken.

The results of these two tests were then compared. Of these, 45 were diagnosed with VVC and 26 with BV. The statistical tests showed strong agreement between the results of the self-taken LVS and the practitioner taken HVS for the diagnosis of BV and for VVC. Self-taken LVS has the potential to be a valid alternative to practitioner taken HVS in the general practice setting for specific clinical scenarios.


Barnes P, Vieira R, Harwood J et al (2017) Self-taken vaginal swabs versus clinician-taken for detection of candida and bacterial vaginosis: a case-control study in primary care. The British Journal of General Practice. doi: 10.3399/bjgp17X693629.

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