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Diagnostic Techniques For Bacterial Vaginosis And Vulvovaginal Candidiasis - Requirement For A Simple Differential Test.

J. Sobel, P. Hay
Published 2010 · Medicine

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IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and bacterial vaginosis (BV) account for ∼ 90% of infectious cases of vaginitis in women. Differentiating between these two conditions based on clinical features can be difficult owing to the wide variety of signs and symptoms observed. AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW Current diagnostic techniques in the clinical setting are inadequate, and even trained physicians frequently fail to make a correct diagnosis. New techniques for the diagnosis of VVC and BV are being developed, but almost all require specialised equipment, with expensive reagents, and are laborious and time-consuming. Furthermore, many women prefer to self-diagnose their condition, but are more likely to assume they have VVC, having little awareness of BV. WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN The reader will be introduced to the specific diagnostic techniques for VVC and BV. Following this, recent advances and new approaches in diagnosis will be discussed. TAKE HOME MESSAGE Misdiagnosis may result in delay of correct treatment with resulting sequelae, particularly for BV. There is a need for a simple, rapid, unequivocal and economic diagnostic test that can differentiate between BV and VVC. This would be of use both to physicians and to women who wish to self-diagnose and self-medicate, and would also help educate women about the possible alternative causes of vaginitis and vulvovaginal symptoms.
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