Methods for detection of Trichomonas vaginalis in the male partners of infected women: implications for control of trichomoniasis

J Clin Microbiol. 2006 Nov;44(11):3994-9. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00952-06. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


Trichomonas vaginalis infection in men is an important cause of nongonococcal urethritis. Effective detection of the parasite in men using culture requires examination of multiple specimens. We compared culture and PCR-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urethral swabs, urine, and semen for T. vaginalis detection in male sexual partners of women with trichomoniasis identified by wet mount and culture. Trichomonads were detected by at least one positive test in 205/280 men (73.2%) who submitted at least one specimen for culture and PCR. Whereas InPouch TV culture detected only 46/205 cases (22.5%), PCR detected 201/205 (98.0%). Urethral swab cultures from men with urethritis were more likely to be positive with shorter incubation than specimens from men without urethritis. T. vaginalis was detected more often in men with wet-mount-positive partners. Even with a sensitive PCR assay, reliable detection of T. vaginalis in male partners required multiple specimens. The majority of male sexual partners in this study were infected, emphasizing the importance of partner evaluation and treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / prevention & control
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / transmission
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Urethra / parasitology