TABLE 1

Features of diagnostic methods for detection of T. vaginalis

AssayTime to resultEquipment requirementsSample type(s)Cotesting option(s)Relative costaRelative sensitivitybComment(s)
Wet preparation microscopy5 minMicroscope with 40× objectiveClinician-obtained vaginal swabsBacterial vaginosis clue cells$+Trichomonads must be motile to avoid confusion with lymphocytes; motility decreases rapidly following sample collection
OSOM15 minNoneClinician-obtained vaginal swabsNone$$+++CLIA waived—true POC test
Culture1–7 daysIncubator, microscope with 40× objectiveClinician-obtained vaginal swabsNone$$++CIA moderate
Affirm VPIII<1 hAffirm VPIII instrumentClinician-obtained vaginal swabsGardnerella vaginalis, Candida albicans$$++Cannot be used for asymptomatic screening; CLIA moderate complexity, DNA probe technology
AmpliVue<1 hAmpliVue instrumentClinician-obtained vaginal swabsNone$$++CLIA moderate complexity, DNA amplification; no comparisons to NAATs available
Hologic ATV<8 hTigris or Panther automated systemClinician-obtained vaginal swabs, endocervical swabs, or endocervical samples in PreservCyt medium; female urine on Tigris system onlyChlamydia/gonorrhea$$$++++CLIA high complexity, RNA amplification
BD TVQ<8 hBD Viper XTR automated instrumentFemale urine, patient-obtained vaginal swabs, endocervical swabsChlamydia/gonorrhea$$$++++CLIA high complexity, DNA amplification
Cepheid60–90 minGeneXpert instrument (variable module numbers available)Patient-obtained vaginal swabs, endocervical swabs, female and male urine specimensChlamydia/gonorrhea$$$$++++CLIA moderate complexity, DNA amplification; pending FDA approval for use in United States
  • a Costs vary by location and laboratory testing volume. Relative costs are shown as higher or lower (more or fewer dollar signs) than other tests, assuming that all factors are equal.

  • b Published sensitivity estimates may be misleading since those estimates are dependent on the sensitivity of the comparator assays. Assays compared only to microscopy or culture may have a high sensitivity estimate, but the estimate compared to a NAAT may be substantially lower. Thus, relative performance is shown here with more plus signs indicating higher sensitivity.