Adolescent Trichomonas vaginalis in a High-burdened Region of the Southern United States.Sex Transm Dis. 2020 07; 47(7):499-502.ST
We evaluated the clinical management and risk factors for Trichomonas vaginalis-positive adolescents in upstate South Carolina.
An Epic electronic medical record report was generated to identify any physician-ordered T. vaginalis test from February 2016 to December 2017 for patients aged 12 to 18 years within the Prisma Health Upstate system. Utilizing a case-control study design of patients with a documented T. vaginalis diagnostic result, we reviewed records of patients with physician-ordered T. vaginalis tests for demographics, clinical disease course, sexually transmitted infection test results, treatment order and dosage, infection risk factors, comorbidities, pregnancy term, and neonatal birth outcomes.
Of 789 male and female adolescents with physician-ordered T. vaginalis tests, 44% had a documented result. Of those with a document test result, 13% were T. vaginalis positive. Cases (n = 45) and randomly selected negative controls (n = 45) were all girls. Cases were more likely to be African American, symptomatic, and present with vaginal discharge, pain, and vulvar itch. T. vaginalis patients were more likely to have documented histories of chlamydia (P < 0.0001) and gonorrhea (P = 0.0191), with 18% having concurrent triple infections (T. vaginalis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea). All 26 pregnant girls with T. vaginalis delivered full-term, healthy infants.
We identified a disproportionally high burden of T. vaginalis infection, with an alarmingly high rate of triple infections, among a population of suspected high-risk adolescents. Our results indicate the need to clarify infection prevalence, develop pediatrician-focused education campaigns, and elucidate potentially modifiable risk factors for these high-risk patients.