OBJECTIVE--to determine the prevalence of trichomoniasis in San Jose, Costa Rica, comparing two methods, the InPouch TV test and the saline wet mount. METHODS--One hundred symptomatic and asymptomatic female patients at two hospitals and at a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic were evaluated. Vaginal discharge was the most prevalent genitourinary abnormality among symptomatic patients. The patients were between 18 and 70 years old. Fifty-seven were from the STD clinic, 43 from the two hospitals. A saline wet mount and a culture were taken from each patient. The culture employed a new procedure for diagnosis of trichomonads, the InPouch TV test (BioMed Diagnostics, San Jose, CA). RESULTS--Thirteen of the 100 patients were culture positive, two of whom were wet mount positive. No wet mount positives were culture negative. Eleven of the positive tests were from the STD clinic and two were from the hospitals. CONCLUSIONS--The results of this initial epidemiologic study indicate a prevalence of 19% for trichomoniasis in the STD clinic population and 4.6% in the hospitals group. Trichomonas vaginalis was not diagnosed by laboratory methods prior to this study. The InPouch TV test has a selective fungicidal and bactericidal, enriched proteose-peptone medium which provides a sensitivity of 4 organisms per ml and a 1 year shelf life at room temperature. This in vitro culture test demonstrated unique capabilities as a transport and culture medium. Its procedure offers simplicity in application and an excellent visualisation of trichomonads.
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