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Other Specimens - Vaginal Swabs for Detection and Susceptibility of Trichomonas

Demonstration of Trichomonas vaginalis trophozoites is usually done by preparing wet mounts made from vaginal swabs or scrapings. If the specimen cannot be examined immediately, it should be preserved in PVA and stained smears examined later.

Susceptibility Testing
T. vaginalis is usually highly susceptible to metronidazole. However, cases of resistant T. vaginalis have been reported and may be increasing. There are no standardized guidelines for the identification and treatment of these organisms. In 1978, an in vitro drug susceptibility test was developed by J.G. Meingassner. It can be used to determine the extent of resistance of a trichomonad isolate to the 5 nitroimidazoles. This test is performed at the Division of Parasitic Diseases on isolates that are received from across the country. Test results are forwarded to the CDC/NCHSTP/DSTDP and are then communicated to the submitting physician.

Commercially available tests for detection of Trichomonas
Organism Kit name Manufacturer - distributora Type of Testb
Trichomonas vaginalis T. vag Chemicon DFA
Quik-Trich PanBio LA
  1. Chemicon, 28835 Single Oak Dr., Temecula, CA 92590; PanBio InDx, 1756 Sulfur Spring Rd., Baltimore, MD 21227
  2. DFA = direct fluorescent antibody; LA = latex agglutination

For additional information about Trichomonas vaginalis susceptibility testing, call the Division of Parasitic Diseases, at (404) 718-4110.

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

  • Page last reviewed: May 3, 2016
  • Page last updated: November 15, 2016
  • Content source:
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