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Med Mycol. 2010 Feb;48(1):211-6. doi: 10.3109/13693780902856626.

Biofilm formation on intrauterine devices in patients with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

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Institute of Biomedical Science, Department Microbiology, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


A biofilm is a complex community of surface-associated cells enclosed in a polymer matrix. They attach to solid surfaces and their formation can be affected by growth conditions and co-infection with other pathogens. The presence of biofilm may protect the microorganisms from host defenses, as well as significantly reduce their susceptibility to antifungal agents. Pathogenic microbes can form biofilms on the inert surfaces of implanted devices such as catheters, prosthetic cardiac valves and intrauterine devices (IUDs). The present study was carried out to analyze the presence of biofilm on the surface of intrauterine devices in patients with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, and to determine the susceptibility profile of the isolated yeasts to amphotericin B and fluconazole. Candida albicans was recovered from the IUDs and it was found to be susceptible to the antifungal agents when tested under planktonic growing conditions. These findings indicate the presence of the biofilm on the surface of the IUD as an important risk factor for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

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