The yeast Candida albicans can cause itchy, painful urinary tract and vaginal yeast infections. For women in low-resource settings who lack access to healthcare facilities, these infections create substantial social and economic burdens. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have developed color-changing threads that turn bright pink in the presence of C. albicans. When embedded in tampons or sanitary napkins, they could allow women to quickly and discreetly self-diagnose vulvovaginal yeast infections, the researchers say.
According to the Mayo Clinic, about 75% of women will experience a yeast infection, or vulvovaginal candidiasis, at least once in their lifetime. Although women in high-resource areas can easily be diagnosed with a vaginal swab at their doctor’s office and then treated with an antifungal medication, many women throughout the world lack access to basic healthcare facilities. Moreover, in some resource-limited areas, societal taboos cause women to feel shame or embarrassment about the symptoms, which prevents them from seeking a doctor’s care. Therefore, Naresh Kumar Mani and colleagues wanted to develop an inexpensive method that could be integrated into menstrual hygiene products, allowing women to quickly, easily and discreetly self-diagnose yeast infections.
Source: Read Full Article