Background The prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis is not accurately estimated, since it is not a reportable disease.
Aims To assess the prevalence of T vaginalis infection in women attending a Greek gynaecological hospital and to evaluate four diagnostic methods for T vaginalis infection.
Methods 255 symptomatic and 247 asymptomatic women were included in the study during 2006–07; 372 were Greek and 130 were immigrants. T vaginalis was detected in vaginal samples, using wet mount, culture in modified Diamond's medium, antigen detection and two PCR assays, targeting different regions of T vaginalis genome. Specimens were considered positive for T vaginalis, when tested positive either by culture or by both PCRs.
Results 23 women (4.6%) were positive for T vaginalis. Seven of the 23 positive samples (30.4%) were only PCR-positive. Infection was more prevalent in symptomatic women (6.7%) than in asymptomatic ones (2.4%). T vaginalis was more frequently detected in immigrants (7.9%) than in Greek women (3.3%). Gardnerella vaginalis infection was significantly more frequent in women infected with T vaginalis. PCR was the most sensitive method (100%), followed by culture (69.6%), wet mount (69.6%) and latex agglutination (54.6%). Agreement between PCR and culture as well as wet mount examination was very good (κ=0.79).
Conclusions The study shows a relatively low percentage of trichomoniasis in the female population living in Athens. The infection was more prevalent among immigrants, and a proportion of the infected women was asymptomatic. The tested methods had good agreement and PCR was found to improve the diagnostic yield considerably.
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Funding This work was partially supported by the National University of Athens Special Account for Research Grants, Program “Kapodistrias” No. 70/4/4807.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of Alexandra Hospital, University of Athens.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.