A protozoan which infects the vagina, urethra and paraurethral glands.
|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|
10–50% of people are asymptomatic.
Vaginal symptoms: vaginal itch, vaginal discharge typically profuse malodorous (fishy odour) and frothy, and cervicitis.
Penile symptoms: are uncommon, but urethral 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 insertive partners in penis-in-vagina sex and 60-100% of receptive partners in penis-in-vagina sex|
|Protective effect of condoms||High|
|Transmission by oral sex||Extragenital infections (oral, anal) are uncommon|
|Duration of potential infectivity||Trichomonas vaginalis in vaginal infections is thought to be longstanding, up to 3-5 years, whereas penile infections may spontaneously resolve lasting up to 4 months.|
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.|
Only notifiable in the Northern Territory in Australia.
Not notifiable in New Zealand
Page last updated September 2022