In the diagnosis of trichomoniasis Papanicolaou-stained cervical smears gave marginally better results than cultures of vaginal secretion; stained cervical smears and wet films of vaginal material gave similar results. Culture of vaginal secretion on Sabouraud's medium gave the best results in the diagnosis of candidiasis; Papanicolaou-stained smears gave significantly fewer positive results than either cultures or Gram-stained vaginal smears. Papanicolaou-stained smears were reported as positive in only two of five patients with cervical herpes simplex virus infection. It is concluded that Papanicolaou smears are as good as wet films or cultures in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis but cannot be relied on for the diagnosis of candidiasis, or for detecting herpes simplex virus infection.
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