Update on Laboratory Diagnosis and Epidemiology of Trichomonas vaginalis: You Can Teach an “Old” Dog “New” Trichs
Format of Original
Clinical Microbiology Newsletter
Past viewpoints on Trichomonas vaginalis infection have characterized the associated clinical disease as a “nuisance” condition, with affected demographics largely being older African American females residing in urban centers. The advent of commercial molecular assays specific for T. vaginalis has offered a new outlook on trichomoniasis. Within high-prevalence sexually transmitted infection populations, parasite distribution is not localized to specific population centers, and T. vaginalis prevalence is elevated among both younger and older age groups. Adaptation of these molecular assays can additionally facilitate male screening and subsequent epidemiologic characterization. These findings, combined with associations between T. vaginalis infection and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition/transmission and persistent human papillomavirus infection, support consideration of the expansion of T. vaginalis screening efforts in the realms of clinical practice and public health.