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Comparison of dacron and nylon-flocked self-collected vaginal swabs and urine for the detection of Trichomonas vaginalis using analyte-specific reagents in a transcription-mediated amplification assay
  1. Dan Jang1,2,
  2. Jodi Gilchrist1,2,
  3. Eder Portillo1,2,
  4. Marek Smieja1,2,
  5. Ramandeep Toor1,2,
  6. Max Chernesky1,2
  1. 1St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Max Chernesky, St Joseph's Healthcare, 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton, ON L8N 4A6, Canada; chernesk{at}


Objectives To compare self-collected vaginal swab (SCVS) types and first-catch urine (FCU) to diagnose Trichomonas vaginalis using analyte-specific reagents designed to be used in a transcription-mediated amplification assay.

Methods A total of 241 women (group A) collected a FCU and a SCVS using a dacron swab (APTIMA collection kit). A second group of 289 women (group B) collected two SCVS using one dacron swab and one nylon-flocked swab.

Results Of 75 young women (street youth) determined to be infected with T vaginalis only seven reported symptoms of vaginal discharge or irritation. Using a cutoff of 50 000 relative light units, the sensitivity and specificity was 97.2% and 97.6%, respectively for dacron SCVS compared with 41.7% and 100% for FCU in group A; 92.3% and 98.8% for dacron SCVS and 92.3% and 99.2% for flocked-nylon SCVS in group B. The assay tested 96 samples in 6 h.

Conclusions Dacron and nylon-flocked SCVS performed equally well and significantly better than FCU using analyte-specific reagents in the APTIMA transcription-mediated amplification assay. Either swab type could be used for self-collection.

  • Analyte-specific reagents
  • chlamydia
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • dacron and nylon-flocked self-collected vaginal swabs
  • DNA amplification
  • epidemiology
  • first catch urine
  • health service research
  • HPV
  • molecular biology
  • Neisseria gonorrhoea
  • partner notification
  • self-sampling
  • transcription-mediated amplification
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • vaginal infections

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  • Author note In July 2011, while this paper was under review, Gen-Probe Inc received US Food and Drug Administration clearance for an APTIMA T vaginalis kit constructed from the same analyte-specific reagent components that were used in this study.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by St Joseph's Healthcare Research Ethics Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.