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Trichomonas vaginalis, Molecular Detection

Trichomonas (Trichomonas vaginalis) is a human parasite (flagellate protozoan) responsible for the most common non-viral sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Trichomonas vaginalis is recognized as one of the causes of vaginitis in women, while it can also cause urethritis and prostatitis in men.

Although men are often asymptomatic carriers of trichomonads, sometimes complaints of dysuria and pathological discharge from the urethra may be reported.

In women, the disease can range from asymptomatic (about 25-50% of women) to very severe. Classic symptoms include foul-smelling and purulent vaginal discharge, pain, and inflammation in the vaginal area. Trichomonas can also cause post-surgical infections after surgical operations on the genital system, which usually remain localized in the lower part of the genitourinary region. The presence of trichomonads can also have serious consequences for women's health with the occurrence of conditions such as infertility, premature rupture of membranes and premature birth, the birth of infants with low birth weight, and even neonatal death. Having trichomoniasis has also been shown to increase the chance of cervical cancer caused by HPV viruses. In addition, it creates an increased predisposition to HIV infection in both men and women. In some women, the symptoms of trichomoniasis may remain constant throughout the cycle, but in some other cases, the symptoms appear periodically and become more intense during menstruation.

Trichomonas is relatively easily treated with metronidazole, an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and parasites. However, treatment failure is common, mainly due to significant gastrointestinal side effects. Systemic administration of metronidazole can also lead to the development of allergy and resistance. The intravaginal administration of the drug allows for better treatment of trichomoniasis and avoidance of systemic adverse effects.

In the laboratory, trichomonads are detected in the direct preparation of vaginal discharge in women or urethral discharge in men. Several times they also become visible in the urine test (e.g., in urinalysis). Laboratory testing with microscopy has a sensitivity of only 60-75%, while the modern polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can detect Trichomonas vaginalis with a sensitivity of 90-100%, while the specificity of the method approaches 99%.

At Athens Diagnostics, the test for the presence of trichomonas (Trichomonas vaginalis) can be done individually with a molecular test and only for the specific microorganism, while in addition it is tested in combination with other microorganisms in the following laboratory tests:

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