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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 7, Issue 5, Pages 321-325

New Concepts in the Diagnosis and Pathogenesis of Trichomonas vaginalis

Renuka Bhatt, Mary Abraham, Dino Petrin, and Gary E Garber

Department of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Received 20 March 1996; Accepted 22 March 1996

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Trichomonas vaginalis infection is the most commonly encountered sexually transmitted disease. There is a need for more accurate and rapid laboratory diagnostic methods, leading to better control and treatment strategies. Various virulence factors such as adherence, contact-independent factors, hemolysis and acquisition of host macromolecules have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of this infection. Detection of the factors that are only present in the pathogenic isolates of trichomonads will lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of this pathogen. Culture technique is highly specific compared with microscopic techniques, but it is time consuming. Immunological techniques lack proper correlation with clinical manifestations. The application of monoclonal antibodies, either singly or in a group that recognizes a common antigen, along with methods such as detection of common DNA fragment from clinical specimens, may have a promising future in the laboratory diagnosis of trichomoniasis.