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  • Trichomoniasis


Causative organism Trichomonas vaginalis
Incubation period 5-28 days
How far trace back There is insufficient data to provide a definitive period, but current contact tracing and concurrent treatment is recommended to prevent reinfection.
Usual testing method Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are the most sensitive tests available to detect Trichomonas vaginalis. Wet preparation microscopy and culture are less sensitive
Common symptoms 10–50% of people with a vagina and most people with a penis are asymptomatic. Symptoms in people with a vagina: vaginal itch, vaginal discharge typically profuse malodorous (fishy odouor) and frothy, and cervicitis
Symptoms in people with a penis: are uncommon, buturethral discharge and dysuria occasionally occur
Likelihood of transmission per act of unprotected intercourse

Unknown, likely moderate to high

Perinatal transmission 5%

Likelihood of long-term sexual partner being infected Up to 70% of partners with a penis of infected people with a vagina and 60-100% of partners with a vagina of infected partners with a penis
Protective effect of condoms High
Transmission by oral sex Extragenital infections (oral, anal) are uncommon
Duration of potential infectivity Trichomonas vaginalis in people with a vagina is thought to be longstanding, up to 3-5 years, whereas infection among people with a penis may spontaneously resolve lasting up to 4 months.
Important sequelae Preterm delivery and low birth weight; Increased transmission of HIV
Direct benefit of detection and treatment of contacts Cure
Usual management of contacts Counselling, clinical examination and testing. Treat sexual partners presumptively
Contact tracing priority Medium.
Notification Not notifiable in Australia or New Zealand

 Page last updated April 2021