Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protozoan that causes human trichomoniasis and is estimated to be the most prevalent nonviral sexually transmitted disease in the world (Petrin et al., 1998). Infections in women cause vaginitis, urethritis, and cervicitis (Riley et al., 1992), and complications include premature labor, low birth-weight offspring, and postabortion or posthysterectomy infection (Shaio et al., 1997). There are approximately 180 million cases of trichomoniasis each year worldwide; of which an estimated 5 million women and 1 million men in the United States are infected each year (Leber et al., 2003). The actual figures are, however, expected to be higher than these estimates because (i) the infection can be asymptomatic, particularly in men; (ii) trichomoniasis is not a reportable disease in the United States and other countries; and (iii) the sensitivities of different diagnostic tests varied between different laboratories, which often have little quality control on these methods.
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