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Trichomoniasis is an infection of the genital and urinary systems in men and women caused by the parasite trichomonas vaginalis. It is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) worldwide. In men, the infection is rarer and generally asymptomatic, whereas in women, it usually begins with a greenish-yellow vaginal discharge and is accompanied by symptoms of vaginitis or cervicitis in 50% of cases. If left untreated, the infection can lead to complications, including infertility.

The best way to diagnose a trichomonas vaginalis infection is to perform a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test on a vaginal or urine sample. The trichomonas PCR test involves amplifying a portion of the parasite’s genetic material to detect its presence. A positive result confirms the presence of trichomoniasis in the sample, while a negative result indicates the absence of infection. An “invalid” result indicates that a new sample is required. Although false-negative results are very rare, they can occur when the number of parasites in the sample is very low. Due to the high specificity of the PCR, false-positive results are also very rare.

Term of the Week

Predictive medicine

Medicine that links medical knowledge with data to predict a patient’s potential health problems. Examples include artificial intelligence and genetics.