Diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis infection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trichomonas vaginalis is the second most prevalent sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. The incidence is highest in women with multiple partners and in groups with high rates of other STDs. Highly sensitive and specific PCR and LCR techniques are currently in use for the diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoea?, replacing culture and requiring only collection of first void urine. A PCR test for the detection of T. vaginalis in first void urine samples was developed, as a first step to incorporate the PCR diagnosis of T. vaginalis into routine molecular diagnosis of STDs. Primers (βtub41 and βtub61) were designed to target a well preserved region in the beta-tubulin gene, which is very specific for T. vaginalis. DNA was extracted by boiling preparations in a 5% Chelex solution in Tris buffer. Thirteen strains of T. vaginalis isolated by culture were successfully identified by PCR giving a single predicted product of 297 bp. A 297 bp product was also obtained with T. tenax and T. gallinacea but not with C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, Giardia lamblia, Dientamoeba fragilis, Entamoeba histolytica and C. sulcatus. In a sensitivity test all two-fold dilutions of T. vaginalis DNA. from 400 to one trichomonas per PCR were detected by the PCR. In an ongoing study of first void urine samples from women, T. vaginalis was detected in 9/41(22%) of samples. The diagnosis of T. vaginalis infection by PCR is a sensitive and specific method that could be incorporate into a joint strategy for the multiple screening of STDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis infection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this