Introduction Vaginitis is a common problem in women’s health globally. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are also highly prevalent and often have symptoms similar to vaginitis. Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is a causative agent of vaginitis that is exclusively sexually transmitted and thus falls into both of these diagnostic categories. To better understand co-infection rates for STI and vaginitis, we used the BD MAX- CT/GC/TV (MCGT) assay for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and TV on samples previously tested with BD MAX- Vaginal Panel (MVP).
Methods Women who reported vaginitis symptoms were enrolled in a study that evaluated the performance of MVP. A subset of the vaginal swabs collected and frozen was tested using MCGT. The presence of CT, GC or TV was assessed in women with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) only, Candida spp. only (Ca), BV+Ca, or negative for vaginitis as determined by the MVP. This last category included women with all negative results as well as women with TV only, since for this analysis TV was classified as an STI.
Results Self-collected samples gave reportable results for 528 women to date. 210 (39.8%), 62 (11.7%), 95 (18.0%) and 161 (30.5%) were diagnosed with BV, Ca, BV+Ca or no vaginitis, respectively. TV, CT and GC were present in samples from 62 (11.7%), 32 (6.1%) and 8 (1.5%), respectively. STI positivity rates among those with BV, Ca, BV+Ca and vaginitis negative women were 23.3, 9.7, 25.3% and 8.7%. Of the 62 TV results obtained with MCGT, 61 were detected with MVP, with an overall agreement of 99.8% (527/528).
Conclusion STI rates were high among women seeking care for vaginitis and co-infection was common. While treatment for vaginitis may include appropriate management for TV, CT and GC management requires appropriate diagnostics in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment. Testing of the same vaginal specimen on the BD MAX instrument for both vaginitis and STI diagnostics is an efficient solution which maximises the number of results available to effectively guide patient management.
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