Background Little is known about the recent epidemiology and public health impact of Trichomonas vaginalis infection in England. We investigated the distribution and risk factors of this common sexually transmitted infection (STI)and assessed whether the potential burden of infection could warrant a review of existing screening guidelines.
Methods We used data from the Genitourinary Medicine Clinic Activity Dataset (GUMCAD) over a three year period (2009–2011) to investigate the characteristics of patients diagnosed with T. vaginalis, and to describe the distribution of cases in England. Case records were linked within each GUM clinic using the local patient identifier. Socio-demographic and clinical risk factors associated with a diagnosis of T. vaginalis were explored using multivariable logistic regression.
Results Rates of T. vaginalis infection were highest in London and the West Midlands. Risk of a T. vaginalis diagnosis was strongly associated with older age in comparison to those aged 20–24 years, non-white ethnicity, in particular black Caribbean (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] = 4.23, 95% CI 3.98–4.50 in women; aOR = 8.00, 95% CI 6.48–9.87 in men) and black ‘other’ (aOR = 4.13, 95% CI 3.80–4.49 in women; aOR = 5.75, 95% CI 4.22–7.83 in men) ethnic groups and birth in the Caribbean (aOR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.16–1.38 in women; aOR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.28–2.09 in men) compared to the UK. Current gonorrhoea (aOR = 3.66, 95% CI 3.30–4.05) or chlamydia (aOR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.49–1.68) infection was an important risk factor for a diagnosis of T. vaginalis in women.
Conclusion This study has characterised important patient groups at risk of T. vaginalis infection and allowed identification of areas of higher prevalence. Our results suggest that further research is needed to identify the public health benefits and feasibility of changing clinic screening protocols among at risk groups in these areas.
- Trichomonas vaginalis
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