Rapid detection of coinfections by Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum by a new multiplex polymerase chain reaction

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 May;67(1):30-6. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2009.12.022.


We developed a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR) assay to simultaneously detect Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum. The test is extremely specific and has a sensitivity of 10 cells for T. vaginalis and U. urealyticum and of 1 cell for M. hominis. The technique was validated on vaginal swabs from 240 women presenting symptoms of vaginitis, and results were compared with data obtained using microscopic and culture techniques on the same patients. The M-PCR revealed to be greatly more sensitive and specific than traditional techniques. It has been well demonstrated, in vitro, that T. vaginalis can establish a symbiosis with M. hominis; our data confirm in vivo this strict association: in fact, M. hominis has been detected in 78.6% of all samples positive for T. vaginalis, as compared to only 4.8% of women without trichomoniasis. The species specificity of this association has been confirmed by the absence of any significant correlation between T. vaginalis and U. urealyticum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mycoplasma Infections / diagnosis*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / parasitology
  • Mycoplasma hominis / isolation & purification*
  • Parasitology / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trichomonas Infections / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas Infections / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / diagnosis*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / parasitology
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum / isolation & purification*
  • Vagina / parasitology
  • Young Adult