New STI PCR panel available at Mater Pathology

March 19, 2015

Mater Pathology now offers Trichomonas vaginalis in a new PCR panel for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

In recent times, the use of PCR for diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) has become favourable over microscopy, which has been widely used until now.

A study of TV testing performed by Mater Pathology has distinguished PCR as a superior method over microscopy for diagnosis.

Microscopy is a highly specific but insensitive method of testing, and under-reporting or false negatives may occur.

A review of TV microscopy reports at Mater Pathology over 22 months (study conducted January 2013-October 2014) revealed 0.2% positive results from 16642 genital specimens.

A study conducted July – August 2014 revealed a higher prevalence of 1.9% using PCR as the testing method compared to microscopy. The prevalence for Chlamydia  trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae for the same sample size and type during this time period was 5.3% and 0.01% respectively.

A review of the scientific literature[1] supports these findings, with several studies showing a higher detection rate of TV in Australia with PCR compared to microscopy.

How to request Trichomonas vaginalis:

- Simply indicate STI panel PCR on a Mater Pathology request form to receive results for T. vaginalis as a panel with C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae  or write T. vaginalis PCR on the request form.

- Testing for the complete STI panel can be performed at the same time using the same swab, urine or ThinPrep specimen.

For information on collection and testing frequency please refer to our Pathology Test Guide or contact one of Mater Pathology’s medical microbiologists on 07 3163 8500.


[1] J. Clin. Microbiol. May 2009 vol. 47 no. 5 1358-1363 ; Sex Transm Infect 2013;89:509-513; Sex Transm Infect 2010; 86:227-230


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