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Epidemiology and laboratory characteristics of Trichomonas vaginalis infection in Croatian men with and without urethritis syndrome: a case–control study
  1. Mario Sviben1,2,
  2. Emilija Mlinarić Missoni1,
  3. Tomislav Meštrović3,
  4. Gordana Vojnović1,
  5. Gordana Mlinarić Galinović1,2
  1. 1Microbiology Service, Croatian National Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
  2. 2Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  3. 3Clinical Microbiology and Parasitology Unit, Polyclinic “Dr. Zora Profozić”, Zagreb, Croatia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mario Sviben, Microbiology Service, Croatian National Institute of Public Health, Rockefellerova 7, Zagreb 10 000, Croatia; mario.sviben{at}


Objectives The main objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of trichomoniasis in men with and without symptoms of urethritis, with concomitant analysis of sociodemographic and behavioural specificities of both groups. Also, the objective is to evaluate laboratory methods used in the diagnostics of this parasitic disease.

Methods A total of 500 men with and 200 without urethritis symptoms were included in the study. Every respondent filled out a questionnaire asking for some general data, specific information about habits, sexual behaviour and symptoms. Sediment of first void urine was analysed by wet mount microscopy, cultivation in Diamond's medium and real-time PCR.

Results In the symptomatic group, Trichomonas vaginalis infection was documented in 2.4% of respondents by wet mount microscopy, in 4.8% by cultivation and in 8.2% by real-time PCR. In the asymptomatic group, infection was proven using the same methods in 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% of the respondents, respectively. Trichomoniasis prevalence was statistically significantly higher in the respondents manifesting urethritis symptoms when cultivation (χ2=4.20, p=0.041) and real-time PCR (χ2=9.20, p=0.002) were used. Several epidemiological risk factors were identified, and greater sensitivity of real-time PCR was found in comparison with microscopy and culture.

Conclusions Trichomonas infection was statistically more frequent in men with urethritis syndrome. Assuming that the samples found positive by any laboratory technique are truly positive, it can be concluded that the real-time PCR showed the greatest sensitivity of all the methods used in this study.


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