Trichomonas vaginalis: An Updated Overview Towards Diagnostic Improvement

Ana S Oliveira, Ana R Ferrão, Filomena Martins Pereira, José Martinez-de-Oliveira, Ana Palmeira-de-Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is responsible for trichomonosis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) with a significant incidence worldwide. This infection is one of the most common non-viral STDs, representing almost 50% of all curable STDs. Trichomonosis has an incidence of 180 million new cases worldwide. Nowadays, the 'gold standard' for TV diagnosis remains the use of in vitro cultures combined with daily visual microscopic evaluations, which is a time-consuming and low sensitive method. Recent diagnostic methodologies include imunocromatographic assays and molecular biology techniques. The use of the latter has improved enormously the sensitivity and specificity of TV diagnosis, despite, however, none being unable to identify the presence of live parasites. By understanding the biology, the pathogenesis, the proteomic profile and its relation with the parasite's virulence mechanisms, new possibilities towards diagnostic techniques can arise. This review covers various important aspects of vaginal trichomonosis from the parasite's biology and virulence to recent improvements in diagnostic techniques and also metabolic and protein discoveries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalActa Parasitologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trichomonas Infections
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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