Trichomonas vaginalis Infection in a Tertiary Care Vaginitis Center

Sex Transm Dis. 2015 Sep;42(9):482-5. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000334.


Background: Trichomonas vaginalis infection (TVI) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. We sought to determine the features of TVI in a referral-based vaginitis center, focusing on diagnosis and treatment of difficult cases.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients with TVI, based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes, seen at the Drexel Vaginitis Center between January 2008 and November 2013. Information collected on each subject included demographics, symptoms, examination findings, diagnostic tests, and treatment regimens.

Results: Of approximately 4000 new patient visits during our study period, 80 subjects were identified with TVI. Twenty subjects presented with known TVI, with most having clinically resistant infections. Diagnosis was confirmed by saline microscopy in 45%, OSOM rapid test in 40%, and clinical history in the remaining 15%. Treatment regimens varied: 20% received single 2-g dosing of either metronidazole or tinidazole, 50% received high-dose regimens, 20% received therapy with vaginal paromomycin, and 10% underwent desensitization for nitroimidazole allergy. Sixty subjects had newly diagnosed TVI, with 35% diagnosed by saline microscopy, 41.7% by OSOM rapid test, and 23.3% by APTIMA. Treatment regimens for these subjects included single 2-g dosing in 88.3%, high-dose regimen in 8.3%, and other formulations in the remaining 3.4%. In total, 80% of our subjects returned for follow-up; all of whom were cured.

Conclusions: T. vaginalis infection is a rare condition in a tertiary care vaginitis center and often requires nonstandard treatments. Among those who returned for follow-up, the cure rate was 100%.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alkylating Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Microscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / drug therapy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / parasitology
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Tinidazole / therapeutic use
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / drug therapy
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Vagina / parasitology*
  • Young Adult


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Tinidazole
  • Metronidazole