Prevalence and genetic diversity of Trichomonas vaginalis clinical isolates in a targeted population in Xinxiang City, Henan Province, China

Parasit Vectors. 2018 Mar 2;11(1):124. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-2753-4.


Background: Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is a protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease, worldwide. In this study, we investigated the prevalence and genetic characterization of T. vaginalis and contrasted the most prevalent strains of T. vaginalis isolated from Xinxiang City, Henan Province, China.

Results: In Xinxiang from September 2015 to September 2017, a total of 267 (1.64%, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.45-1.85) clinical T. vaginalis-positive samples from vaginal secretions were observed by wet mount microscopy from 16,294 women with some clinical symptoms of trichomoniasis. We found that trichomoniasis frequently occurred in the 21- to 40-year-old age group and in winter. After the 267 clinical T. vaginalis positive samples were cultured, 68 isolates of T. vaginalis were harvested and identified as genotype E (58.82%), H (17.65%), mixed 1 (17.65%) and mixed 2 (5.88%) using a sensitive and reliable polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) typing method on the actin gene. The phylogenetic diversity analysis showed that the genotype E samples fell within a separate clade compared to the other T. vaginalis isolates, while the samples of the genotype H separated into two clades.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a notable gene polymorphism of clinical isolates from the targeted population and provide insight into the performance of these genetic markers in the molecular epidemiology of trichomoniasis. However, further studies are needed to clarify the association between a certain genotype and the pathogenicity of T. vaginalis.

Keywords: China; Genetic diversity; Prevalence; Trichomonas vaginalis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Prevalence
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Trichomonas Infections / epidemiology
  • Trichomonas Infections / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / classification
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / genetics*
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Vagina / parasitology*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Protozoan