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Trichomonas vaginalis

Trichomonas on a trike
Picmonic
Trichomonas vaginalis is an anaerobic protozoa that causes trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection of the urogenital tract. Unlike other protozoa, this organism does not have a cyst phase and the trophozoites are directly passed from person to person through sexual contact. Rates of infection between men and women are similar. Women commonly present with vaginitis with pruritus and burning and have a characteristic foul smelling greenish vaginal discharge. Some women with infection will have a strawberry cervix, which is an erythematous cervix with punctate areas of exudation caused by capillary dilation from inflammation. Infections in men are often asymptomatic. Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed via wet mount prep, which demonstrates a characteristic “corkscrew” motility. Infection is treated and cured by metronidazole. 
7 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Protozoa
Propeller-protozoa

Trichomonas vaginalis is an anaerobic flagellated protozoa, which is a unicellular eukaryotic organism.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Vaginitis
Vagina-on-fire

Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching, and pain.

Pruritus
Prairie-dog

Trichomonas vaginalis typically causes vaginal pruritus due to inflammation of the vaginal wall.

Foul-smelling Greenish Frothy Discharge
Green discharge

Trichomonas vaginalis is associated with a characteristic greenish colored discharge that is foul smelling.

Strawberry Cervix
Strawberry

Some women with infection will have a strawberry cervix, which is an erythematous cervix with punctate areas of exudation caused by capillary dilation from inflammation.

DIAGNOSIS
Corkscrew Motility on Wet Prep
Wet-slide with Corkscrews

Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed via wet mount prep, which demonstrates a characteristic “corkscrew” motility.

TREATMENT
Metronidazole
Metro-knight

The treatment for Trichomonas vaginalis is metronidazole, which alters oxidative patterns in the organism.

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