PRECIS: Women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVC) due to a polymorphism in codon 54 of the MBL2 gene respond better to fluconazole maintenance therapy than do women with other underlying causes. OBJECTIVE: To explain differences in response rates to maintenance therapy with fluconazole in women suffering from RVC by evaluating associations with a polymorphism in the gene coding for mannose-binding lectin (MBL). DESIGN: Follow-up study, neted case-control group. SETTING: Women attending vulvoginitis clinic for RVC. POPULATION: Women participating in a multicentric study in Belgium with a degressive dose of fluconazole for RVC (the ReCiDiF trial) were divided into good responders, intermediate responders and nonresponders according to the number of relapses they experienced during therapy. From 109 of these women with adequate follow-up data, vaginal lavage with 2 ml of saline were performed at the moment of a proven acute attack at inclusion in the study, before maintenance treatment was started. A buccal swab was obtained from 55 age-matched women without a history of Candida infections, serving as a control group. METHODS: Extracted DNA from buccal or vaginal cells was tested for codon 54 MBL2 gene polymorphism by polymerase chain reaction and endonuclease digestion. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency of MBL2 condon 54 allele B in women with optimal or poor response to maintenance therapy in composition with controls. Results Women (n = 109) suffering from RVC were more likely to carry the variant MBL2 codon 54 allele B than control women (20 versus 6.6%, OR 3.4 [95% CI 1.3-8.2], P = 0.01). B alleles were present in 25% of the 36 women not suffering from any recurrence during the maintenance therapy with decreasing doses of fluconazole (OR 4.9 [95% CI 1.9-12.5], P = 0.0007 versus controls), in 20% of the 43 women with sporadic recurrences (OR 3.6 [95% CI 1.4-9.2], P = 0.007 versus controls) and in 15% of the 30 women who had to interrupt the treatment regimen due to frequent relapses (P = 0.097 versus controls). CONCLUSIONS: The MBL2 codon 54 gene polymorphism is more frequent in Belgian women suffering from RVC than in controls. The presence of the B allele is associated with a superior response to fluconazole maintenance therapy as compared with RVC patients without this polymorphism. We conclude that RVC due to deficient MBL production is more easily helped with antifungal medication than is RVC due to some other mechanism.