Polymerase chain reaction analysis of distal vaginal specimens: a less invasive strategy for detection of Trichomonas vaginalis

Clin Infect Dis. 1997 May;24(5):985-7. doi: 10.1093/clinids/24.5.985.


We compared polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of specimens obtained from the distal vagina with wet mount microscopy and culture of specimens from the posterior vaginal fornix. One or all three techniques revealed that 61 (20.3%) of 300 women tested were positive for Trichomonas vaginalis. PCR analysis of distal vaginal specimens detected 56 (91.8%) of 61 infections, while wet mount microscopy and culture detected 49 (80.3%) of 61 infections. Results of this study may impact the approach to testing for T. vaginalis by eliminating the requirement of a vaginal speculum examination. The distal vagina is an appropriate testing site for T. vaginalis by PCR analysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification*
  • Vagina / cytology
  • Vagina / parasitology*
  • Vaginal Smears