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Trichomonas vaginalis

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Disease. trichomoniasis

Geographic distribution. Worldwide

Infection rate. About 9.9 to 41.4% in women.

Life cycle. Normal habitats of T. vaginalis are the human vagina and prostate gland. T. vaginalis multiplies by longitudinal binary fission. There is no cystic stage.

Morphology. T. vaginalis is a colorless pyriform flagellate, 13x17 ㎛ in fresh preparations. There are four anterior flagella and an undulating membrane, and a recurrent flagellum which is closely associated with the undulating membrane. A costa arises in the kinetosome complex and a parabasal body lies near the nucleus. The axostyle extends from the area of the kinetosome. There are many hydrogenosomes along axostyle and costa.

Pathology and clinical symptoms. T. vaginalis causes itching, intense inflammation, and white discharge (leukorrhea) in women. Less symptomatic in chronic stage. Nonspecific irritating urethritis or prostatitis are caused in men, but usually asymptomatic.

Diagnosis. Diagnosis depends on observing the organism in secretion or on cultivation. Dot-blot DNA hybridization assay is useful.

Prevention. Health education is mostly important in the community because it is one of the sexually tramsmitted disease. Asymptomatic male carrier must be detected and treated.

Comments. Sexual partners should be treated at the same time.

Jae-Sook Ryu