Detection rates of trichomonas vaginalis, in different age groups, using real-time polymerase chain reaction

J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2012 Oct;16(4):352-7. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31824b9be2.


Objective: The study aimed to compare the overall detection rate of Trichomonas vaginalis to Chlamydia trachomatis and Neiserria gonorrhea and report detection rates by age groups.

Materials and methods: Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the presence of T. vaginalis, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhea in cervical samples obtained from patients during gynecological examinations. A total of 78,428, 119,451, and 117,494 samples from women age 12 to 75 years were retrospectively analyzed for the presence of T. vaginalis, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhea, respectively. T. vaginalis and C. trachomatis detection rates in Florida, New Jersey, and Texas were calculated in different age groups.

Results: The overall detection rate was 4.3% for T. vaginalis, 3.8% for C. trachomatis, and 0.6% for N. gonorrhea. The overall detection rate of T. vaginalis in Florida was 4.7% (n = 22,504), in New Jersey was 3.6% (n = 22,249), and in Texas was 4.5% (n = 33,675). Calculation of infection rates with T. vaginalis revealed differences between selected age groups with the highest detection rates in all 3 states found in age group 46 to 55 years (6.2%), which was higher than the overall detection rates in other age groups (p < .05 for all states). For C. trachomatis, the highest detection rate was found in age group 12 to 25 years (7.3%).

Conclusions: The overall infection rates of T. vaginalis were higher compared with those of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhea. Detection rates of T. vaginalis were found to be highest among women age 46 to 55 years and may be due to T. vaginalis infiltrating the subepithelial glands and being detected only during hormone-induced or antibiotic-induced changes in the vaginal flora.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum / epidemiology*
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Trichomonas Infections / epidemiology*
  • Trichomonas Infections / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Young Adult