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Detection Rates of Trichomonas vaginalis, in Different Age Groups, Using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

Stemmer, Shlomo M. MD, MS1,2,3; Adelson, Martin E. PhD1; Trama, Jason P. PhD1; Dorak, M. Tevfik MD, PhD1; Mordechai, Eli PhD1

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2012 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 352–357
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31824b9be2
Original Articles

Objective The study aimed to compare the overall detection rate of Trichomonas vaginalis to Chlamydia trachomatis and Neiserria gonorrhea and report detection rates by age groups.

Materials and Methods Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the presence of T. vaginalis, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhea in cervical samples obtained from patients during gynecological examinations. A total of 78,428, 119,451, and 117,494 samples from women age 12 to 75 years were retrospectively analyzed for the presence of T. vaginalis, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhea, respectively. T. vaginalis and C. trachomatis detection rates in Florida, New Jersey, and Texas were calculated in different age groups.

Results The overall detection rate was 4.3% for T. vaginalis, 3.8% for C. trachomatis, and 0.6% for N. gonorrhea. The overall detection rate of T. vaginalis in Florida was 4.7% (n = 22,504), in New Jersey was 3.6% (n = 22,249), and in Texas was 4.5% (n = 33,675). Calculation of infection rates with T. vaginalis revealed differences between selected age groups with the highest detection rates in all 3 states found in age group 46 to 55 years (6.2%), which was higher than the overall detection rates in other age groups (p < .05 for all states). For C. trachomatis, the highest detection rate was found in age group 12 to 25 years (7.3%).

Conclusions The overall infection rates of T. vaginalis were higher compared with those of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhea. Detection rates of T. vaginalis were found to be highest among women age 46 to 55 years and may be due to T. vaginalis infiltrating the subepithelial glands and being detected only during hormone-induced or antibiotic-induced changes in the vaginal flora.

Real-time polymerase chain reaction detection rates of Trichomonas vaginalis were found to be highest among women age 46 to 55 years.

1Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, L.L.C., Hamilton, NJ; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virtua Voorhees, Voorhees, NJ; and 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Correspondence to: Shlomo M. Stemmer, MD, MS, Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, L.L.C., 2439 Kuser Road, Hamilton, NJ 08690. E-mail:

Dr. Shlomo Stemmer is in private OB/GYN practice and serves as a scientific writer for Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, L.L.C. Dr. Stemmer receives remuneration from MDL for his services as a scientific writer and consultant. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

©2012The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology