What is the role of PCR assays in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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PCR methods yield a high sensitivity (84%) and specificity (94%). [92, 93] PCR is based on DNA amplification and detection using known primers to TV genes. Because no approved PCR tests are available for general use, this approach is limited to research studies. Sensitivities of PCR tests for T vaginalis have been reported at 85-100%. [2, 94, 95] Amplicor, an FDA-approved PCR assay for gonorrhea and chlamydia modified to detect T vaginalis, was found to have a sensitivity of 88%-97% and specificity of 98%-99%. [96] Some researchers have suggested that PCR has great diagnostic potential, [30] particularly in men, while others maintain it offers little advantage over culture. In men, performing PCR on urine sediment rather than urethral swabs may improve detection rates. [97]

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