Candida vaginitis: Virulence, host response and vaccine prospects

Flavia De Bernardis, Sofia Graziani, Flavio Tirelli, Stavroula Antonopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a common mucosal infection affecting a large proportion of women with some of them affected by recurrent often intractable forms of the disease. Thus, there is an increasing interest in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. The aim of our work was to characterize, in animal models of vaginal candidiasis, the components of the host-fungus interaction at the mucosal level. The evidence of an immune response in the vaginal compartment was very encouraging to identify the proper targets for new strategies for vaccination or immunotherapy of vaginal candidiasis. Aspartyl-proteinase (Sap2), which is an important immunodominant antigens and virulence factors of C.albicans acting in mucosal infections, was assembled with virosomes and a vaccine PEV7 was obtained. The results obtained in the mouse model and in the clinical trial conducted by Pevion on women have evidenced that the vaccine PEV7, intravaginally administered, has an encouraging therapeutic potential for the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. This opens the way to a modality for anti-Candida protection at mucosal level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S26-S31
JournalMedical Mycology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • aspartyl-proteinase
  • Candida vaginitis
  • immune-response
  • mucosal anti- Candida vaccine
  • virulence factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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