Objectives: To compare a TaqMan-based real-time PCR with conventional PCR, culture, and wet mount microscopy for the diagnosis of trichomoniasis in women.
Methods: Vaginal swabs from 119 women were tested for Trichomonas vaginalis by wet mount and culture. Paired vaginal lavage and urine specimens were tested by conventional and real-time PCR.
Results: Using an expanded "gold standard" defined as a positive culture result using vaginal swabs and/or a positive PCR test using primers TVK3/7, the overall prevalence of T. vaginalis in the study population was 65.5% (78 of 119). The detection rate of T. vaginalis was 65.5% (78 of 119) and 36.9% (44 of 119) by conventional PCR using vaginal washings and urine specimens, respectively; 68.9% (82 of 119) by real-time PCR using vaginal washings and, 61.3% (73 of 119) by real-time PCR using urine specimens. The sensitivities of conventional PCR using vaginal washings and urines and, real time PCR using vaginal washings and urines, compared to the "gold standard", were 100%, 56.4%, 100%, and 80.5%, whilst the specificities of these tests were 100%, 97.6%, 82.9%, and 97.3%, respectively.
Conclusions: The real-time PCR test proved to be significantly more sensitive than culture and wet mount microscopy although its specificity was slightly lower compared to these tests. In addition, it was more sensitive, rapid and less time consuming than conventional PCR for the detection of T. vaginalis.
- Trichomonas vaginalis
- real-time PCR
- wet mount
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