Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Trichomonas vaginalis infection
  1. D Mabey,
  2. J Ackers,
  3. Y Adu-Sarkodie
  1. Department of Infectious ad Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor David Mabey
 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK; david.mabey{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

The organism Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmissible protozoal parasite. It is the commonest curable sexually transmitted infection (STI); The World Health Organization estimates that about 170 million new cases occur annually.1 It is a common cause of vaginal discharge in women, in whom it may also cause vulval irritation and inflammation, dysuria, and inflammation of the exo-cervix. It has been associated with dysuria and urethral discharge in men but asymptomatic infection also occurs in both sexes. T vaginalis infection is associated with low socioeconomic status, and is more prevalent in developing than in developed countries.2,3 Opinions vary concerning whether or not T vaginalis can be transmitted by non-sexual contact.4,5 A morphologically similar organism, Pentatrichomonas hominis, is a commensal of the human large intestine, but conventional wisdom has it that this organism does not multiply in the human reproductive tract.


Microscopy of a wet mount preparation is the most commonly used diagnostic test for T vaginalis infection. Characteristic motile flagellated protozoa are readily seen. Microscopy for T vaginalis should be performed as soon as possible after the sample is taken as motility diminishes with time. Wet …

View Full Text


  • Conflict of interest: none declared.