Enzyme immunoassay for urogenital trichomoniasis as a marker of unsafe sexual behaviour
Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was used to detect antibodies to Trichomonas vaginalis in sera from Zimbabwe. The EIA showed a sensitivity of 95 and 94% when compared with vaginal swab culture among women attending a family planning clinic (FPC) and female commercial sex workers (CSW) respectively. The specificity was 85 and 77% in the two groups. Culture-negative FPC women were sub-divided into high risk or low risk of exposure to trichomoniasis. The seroprevalence was 10% (6/61) among low risk women, 21% (10/48) among high risk women and 23% (9/39) among culture negative CSW. The EIA was positive in 46% (18/39) men with genital discharge but only 5% (2/37) healthy blood donors. None of 31 sera from prepubescent children was positive. The EIA may be useful for community surveys of trichomoniasis. Because T. vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted disease, the test may indicate behaviour that increases the risk of STD transmission.(Accepted July 26 2000)
c1 Author for correspondence: Director General, Biomedical Research and Training Institute, PO Box CY1753 Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.