Method for direct microscopy

1 Mix a drop of vaginal secretion with a drop of isotonic saline on a microscope slide. Urethral secretions are treated similarly; urine specimens are first centrifuged for 10min at 500g and the deposit used for microscopy.

2 Place a coverslip over the preparation. Examine immediately with the 40* objective. Phase contrast may be helpful.

Trichomonas vaginalis, little larger than a leukocyte, has a jerky motility, four flagellae and an undulating membrane. Non-motile protozoa are not detectable in wet mounts.

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