Antigen detection

Monoclonal antibodies to T. vaginalis have been used to identify vaginal trichomoniasis. Broadly reactive, fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated monoclonal antibodies to T. vaginalis are used for this test. In one study, the direct fluorescent antibody test was 86% sensitive, 99% specific, and had a positive predictive value of 96% (prevalence 15%) (Yule et al. 1987). The sensitivity of this test is also related to the concentration of protozoa in the vaginal fluid. In women with positive wet mounts, more than 90% of cases are detected with the antibody test. However, among women with negative wet mounts, the antibody test has a sensitivity of only 69-77%.

An immunoassay developed for the detection of T. vaginalis in vaginal swabs, showed a sensitivity of 93%, a specificity of 97.5%, and a positive predictive value of 82% (prevalence: 9%) when culture based on modified Diamond's medium, was used as reference (Krieger et al. 1988).

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