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Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology  2017, Vol. 44 Issue (1): 7-10    DOI: 10.12891/ceog3391.2017
Original Research | Next articles
IL-23, IFN-α, and IFN-β in the vaginal fluid of patients suffering from vulvovaginal candidosis
T. Kolben1, *(), K. Pieper2, C. Goess1, T. Degenhardt1, N. Ditsch1, T. Weissenbacher3, E.R. Weissenbacher1, T.M. Kolben1
1 Department for Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Munich - Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
2 Department for Ophthalmology, Hospital Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
3 Department for Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Munich - Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
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Purpose of the investigation: Vulvovaginal candidosis (VVC) is a common vaginal infection affecting almost 75% of all women once per lifetime. Vaginal associated immunity is important in the protection against VVC. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a potential role of IL-23, IFN-α, and IFN-β in the local immune response against VVC. Materials and Methods: The study included 202 non-pregnant women; 71 patients with clinical symptoms of VVC and 131 asymptomatic patients served as control. IL-23, IFN-α, and IFN-β were measured in the vaginal fluid by ELISA. Microbiological cultures were used for Candida detection. Results: C. albicans was detected in 67.6% of patients, C. glabrata in 21.1% of patients, and 5.6% were infected with C. krusei or coinfected with C. albicans and C. krusei. Levels of IL-23 (p < 0.001) and IFN-β (p < 0.017) were significantly lower in the VVC group. IFN-α was elevated in the VVC group compared to the asymptomatic patients (p < 0.001). Conclusion: IL-23 and IFN-β seem to play a protective role against VVC. Decreased levels in VVC patients suggest a compromised local immune response at the time of occurrence of symptoms. In contrast, IFN-α seems to be released once the infection has occurred. These cytokines may be prospective targets in the treatment and prevention of primary and recurrent vaginal infections with Candida species.
Key words:  IL-23      IFN-alpha      IFN-beta      Vaginal fluid      Vulvovaginal candidosis     
Published:  10 February 2017     
*Corresponding Author(s):  T. KOLBEN     E-mail:

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T. Kolben, K. Pieper, C. Goess, T. Degenhardt, N. Ditsch, T. Weissenbacher, E.R. Weissenbacher, T.M. Kolben. IL-23, IFN-α, and IFN-β in the vaginal fluid of patients suffering from vulvovaginal candidosis. Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2017, 44(1): 7-10.

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