THE PREVALENCE OF CANDIDA ALBICANS AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING ANTENATAL CLINIC AT PRIMARY HEALTH CENTRES IN UYO METROPOLIS.
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Pregnant women commonly develop increased vaginal discharge which may lead to pregnancy complication. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Candida albicans among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at primary health centres in Uyo metropolis. 70 samples of high vaginal swab (HVS) were collected from pregnant women, sample were tested by microscopic examination and cultured on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) plate and incubated at 370c for 72 hours. Germ tube test was carried out for identification of the isolated organism. Pregnant women within the age range 26 to 3- (27.1%) years had the highest percentage of Candida infection while the age range 36 to 40 years had the least percentage (7.1%). This research recommends good personal hygiene and regular checkup for pregnant women domiciled in this area since Candida albicans posses a major health challenge to avoid complicated health problems.
1.1 Background of the Study
Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeast that belongs to the genus Candida. There are over 20 species of Candida that can cause infection in humans. The most common of one being is Candida albicans. It is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that is the cause of Candida related complex and many undesirable symptoms including fatigue, weight gain, joint pain and gas. Candida albicans normally reside in the intestinal tract and can be found on mucous membrane and skin without causing infection (Normal flora).
However, overgrowth of this organism can cause symptoms to develop. Symptoms of Candidiasis (disease cause by Candida albicans) vary depending on the area of the body that is infected. Other forms of Candida species include: Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida dubliniensis and Candida auris etc. (J. Ochei, A. Kolhatkai, 2007).
Furthermore, the presence of any genital tract infection during pregnancy raises a lot of concern because of the threat to the wellbeing of the mother and child. Early detection is thus important because material physiological alteration may hamper the diagnosis and management of the infection and the presence of the fetus may limit treatment (Daniel C. N., Swati, Singh, 2017). Vaginal discharge is a common symptom of genital tract infection in pregnant and non pregnant women. Identifying its source can be very challenging because a large number of pathogens may be responsible and several infections may co-exist. Candidiasis is an inflammation of the vagina and vulva in the presence of Candida albicans and in the absence of any other etiological agent. It is a common infection affecting the quality of life of many pregnant women. It is estimated to be the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial vaginosis.
It is also estimated that around 75% of all pregnant women experience at least one episode of candidiasis during pregnancy. Candida albicans being the major culprit has been reported by researchers including (Foxman et. al, 2014) as one of the common infections among pregnant women. Consistently, (Emeribe et al., 2010) and Nelson (2016) revealed that 90% of the infection is caused by Candida albicans and 10% by other species of Candida. Candidiasis can be caused by one or more of the following:
Hormonal changes that come with pregnancy or before monthly period, taking hormones or birth control pills, taking antibiotics or steroids, high blood sugar as in diabetics, vaginal intercourse, douching and blood or semen and blood or semen.
1.2 Aims and Objective of the Study
- The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of Candida albicans in pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at primary health care centres in Uyo metropolis
- To know the causes of infections in pregnant women and emphasize the need for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
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