Use of a commercially available, rapid trichomoniasis test demonstrated an association between the infection and black race and high vaginal pH among women who visited New York City health clinics in 2016, according to study results published in Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Researchers used data from electronic medical records and the OSOM® Trichomonas Rapid Test to detect Trichomonas vaginalis infection in women (N=1104) who visited 2 New York City sexual health clinics between May and September of 2016 and underwent pelvic examination. Patients were classified as symptomatic if they reported vaginal discharge or had abnormal vaginal discharge noted on physical examination. Otherwise, patients were considered asymptomatic.

The investigators diagnosed T vaginalis infection in 9.3% (n=103) of patients. The prevalence of T vaginalis was 5.2% among asymptomatic patients (10 of 193) and 10.2% among symptomatic patients (93 of 911). The prevalence of T vaginalis was 11.7% among non-Hispanic black women (92 of 786) and 3.5% among women of other race (11 of 318). Multivariable analyses revealed that only non-Hispanic black women (odds ratio, 3.73; 95% CI, 1.95-7.11) and vaginal pH of ≥4.5 (odds ratio 1.98, 95% CI, 1.18-3.3) were independently associated with a positive test result for T vaginalis.

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This study was subject to 3 limitations. First, the patients who visited the 2 sexual health clinics in New York City may not be representative of the general US population. Second, only available medical record data were used, and no additional information regarding risk factors for T vaginalis or other vaginal symptoms was gathered for this study. Third, the prevalence of T vaginalis in this study may have been overestimated, as only women who underwent pelvic exams were included in the study.

The researchers concluded that the OSOM Trichomonas Rapid Test allows physicians to quickly diagnose the infection, and that the prevalence of T vaginalis in NYC and elsewhere makes this sexually transmitted infection a significant public health concern.

Reference

Fallon S, Pathela P, Mikati T. Prevalence and correlates of Trichomonas vaginalis infection using the OSOM® Rapid Point-of-Care Test among women attending New York City sexual health clinics, May-July 2016[published online June 24, 2019]. Sex Transm Dis. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001038