, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 136-142
Date: 25 Jan 2013

Genetic Basis for Recurrent Vulvo-Vaginal Candidiasis

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Abstract

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a frequent disease affecting more than 75% of all women at least once in their lifetime. Up to 8% of them suffer from recurrent VVC (RVVC) characterized by at least three episodes each year. Several risk factors, such as antibiotic use, diabetes, or pregnancy, are known, but the vast majority of women with RVVC develop the infection without having any risk factor, implying that a genetic component most likely plays an important role in the susceptibility to RVVC. This review summarizes the immunogenetic alterations that lead to an increased susceptibility to vaginal infections with Candida albicans. Different mutations and polymorphisms in innate immune genes alter the mucosal immune response against fungi and are likely to have an important role in susceptibility to RVVC. A better understanding of the genetic and immunological mechanisms leading to RVVC is important for both the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease and the design of novel therapeutic strategies.