Aptima Trichomonas vaginalis assay elucidates significant underdiagnosis of trichomoniasis among women in Brazil according to an observational study.Sex Transm Infect. 2019 03; 95(2):129-132.ST
Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection is the most common non-viral STI globally and can result in adverse pregnancy outcomes and exacerbated HIV acquisition/transmission. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are the most sensitive diagnostic tests, with high specificity, but TV NAATs are rarely used in Brazil. We investigated the TV prevalence and compared the performance of the US Food and Drug Association-cleared Aptima TV assay with microscopy (wet mount and Gram-stained) and culture for TV detection in women in Pelotas, Brazil in an observational study.
From August 2015 to December 2016, 499 consecutive asymptomatic and symptomatic sexually active women attending a Gynaecology and Obstetrics Outpatient Clinic were enrolled. Vaginal fluid and swab specimens were collected and wet mount microscopy, Gram-stained microscopy, culture and the Aptima TV assay performed.
The median age of enrolled women was 36.5 years (range: 15-77). The majority were white, had a steady sexual partner and low levels of education. The TV detection rate was 4.2%, 2.4%, 1.2% and 0% using the Aptima TV assay, culture, wet mount microscopy and Gram-stained microscopy, respectively. The sensitivity of culture and wet mount microscopy was only 57.1% (95% CI 36.5 to 75.5) and 28.6% (95% CI 13.8 to 50.0), respectively.
A 4.2% positivity rate of T. vaginalis was found among women in Pelotas, Brazil and the routine diagnostic test (wet mount microscopy) and culture had low sensitivities. More sensitive diagnostic tests (NAATs) and enhanced testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic at-risk women are crucial to mitigate the transmission of TV infection, TV-associated sequelae and enhanced HIV acquisition and transmission.