Chromogenic Candida agar (OCCA) is a novel medium facilitating isolation and identification of Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. krusei, as well as indicating polyfungal population in clinical samples. We compare the performance of OCCA, to CHROMagar Candida (CAC) and Sabouraud chloramphenicol agar (SCA). Vaginal swab samples from 392 women were simultaneously inoculated onto three study media. A total of 161 (41.1%) were found to be positive for fungi of which 140 (87%) were monofungal, and 21 (13%) polyfungal. One-hundred and fifty-seven samples (97.5%) were positive on CAC, 156 (96.9%) on OCCA, 148 (91.9%) on SCA and 1.44 (89.4%) samples were positive on all three media. The yeasts were identified by conventional methods including germ tube test, microscopic morphology on cornmeal-Tween 80 agar, and the commercial API 20C AUX. The 182 isolates were C. albicans (n = 1,04), C. glabrata (n = 5 1), C. krusei (n = 7), C. tropicalis (n = 5), C. famata (n = 3), C. kefyr (n = 3), C. zeylanoides (n = 3), C. colliculosa (n = 2), and other species of Candida (n = 4). Among the 21 polyfungal populations, 20 (95.2%) were detected in OCCA, 14 (66.7%) in CAC, and 13 (61.9%) in CAC and OCCA (P < 0.05). Most polyfungal populations (47.6%) yielded C. albicans+C. glabrata. The efficiency of both chromogenic media for C. albicans was >= 92.9% at 72 h. OCCA is more efficient and reliable for rapidly identifying C. albicans and polyfungal populations than CAC. However, CAC is more efficient for identifying C. krusei and C. tropicalis. A chromogenic agar with a higher isolation rate of yeasts and better detection of polyfungal populations than SCA, is suggested as a medium of first choice when available.