How is T vaginalis transmitted?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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T vaginalis may be transmitted vertically to newborns, causing vaginitis, urinary tract infection, and/or respiratory infection that can be life-threatening. [7, 8]

Humans are the only known host of T vaginalis. Transmission occurs predominantly via sexual intercourse. The organism is most commonly isolated from vaginal secretions in women and urethral secretions in men. The rectal prevalence of T vaginalis among men who have sex with men (MSM) appears low. [9] Although T vaginalis has not been isolated from oral sites, evidence suggests that it may cause sexually transmitted oral infection in rare cases. [10]

Women with trichomoniasis may be asymptomatic or may experience various symptoms, including vaginal discharge and vulvar irritation. Men with trichomoniasis may experience nongonococcal urethritis but are frequently asymptomatic. [11]

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