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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 61, Issue 1


Trichomonas vaginalis: An Updated Overview Towards Diagnostic Improvement

Ana S. Oliveira
  • CICS-UBI – Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ana R. Ferrão
  • CICS-UBI – Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Filomena Martins Pereira
  • IHMT – Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, New University of Lisbon, Rua da Junqueira no. 100, 1349-008, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ José Martinez-de-Oliveira
  • CICS-UBI – Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
  • Child and Women’s Health Department, Centro Hospitalar Cova da Beira EPE, Covilhã, Portugal
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ana Palmeira-de-Oliveira
  • Corresponding author
  • CICS-UBI – Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
  • Labfit – HPRD: Health Products Research and Development Lda, Faculty of Health Sciences, Piso 0, Av Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506, Covilhã, Portugal
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0002


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.

Keywords : Trichomonas vaginalis; pathogenesis; diagnostic techniques; proteomics


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About the article

Received: 2015-01-01

Revised: 2015-06-20

Accepted: 2015-09-15

Published Online: 2015-12-30

Published in Print: 2016-01-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 61, Issue 1, Pages 10–21, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0002.

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