Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home
For questions about DPDx, contact us
DPDx

DPDx is an education resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention and control visit www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/default.htm.

Trichomoniasis

[Trichomonas vaginalis]

Anterior end of a female Thelazia sp. Note the lack of lips (arrow) and prominent striations.

Two trophozoites of T. vaginalis obtained from in vitro culture, stained with Giemsa.

Causal Agent

Trichomonas vaginalis, a flagellate, is the most common pathogenic protozoan of humans in industrialized countries.


Life Cycle

Life cycle of Trichomoniasis

Trichomonas vaginalis resides in the female lower genital tract and the male urethra and prostate The number 1, where it replicates by binary fission The number 2. The parasite does not appear to have a cyst form, and does not survive well in the external environment. Trichomonas vaginalis is transmitted among humans, its only known host, primarily by sexual intercourse The number 3.

Geographic Distribution

Worldwide. Higher prevalence among persons with multiple sexual partners or other venereal diseases.

Clinical Presentation

Trichomonas vaginalis infection in women is frequently symptomatic. Vaginitis with a purulent discharge is the prominent symptom, and can be accompanied by vulvar and cervical lesions, abdominal pain, dysuria and dyspareunia. The incubation period is 5 to 28 days. In men, the infection is frequently asymptomatic; occasionally, urethritis, epididymitis, and prostatitis can occur.

Back to Top

 
For questions about DPDx, contact us
  • Page last reviewed November 29, 2013
  • Page last updated November 29, 2013
  • Content source: Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
  • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO