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Improved Trichomonas Test

Trichomonas testing from patients with vaginitis will be changing for clients served by the former BC Biomedical lab in Surrey. The new method (‘Trich OSOM’) has been used for several years at both the Victoria and Burnaby Lifelabs sites with excellent results.

There is no difference in how to collect a specimen with the new assay: if trichomonas infection is suspected, vaginal secretions can be collected using the usual red-top universal culture swab with liquid Amies transport media already supplied to clients. As before, it is best if two separate swabs are collected: one for trichomonas testing and another for bacterial/yeast vaginal culture or microscopy, as this yields the highest sensitivity for both tests. However, both bacterial and trichomonas investigations will still be performed if only a single swab is collected.

In contrast to the current method based on microscopy and culture, the new Trich OSOM assay is an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) shown in the literature to be more sensitive than culture methods by more than 50% and theoretically useful in the detection of non-viable organisms which may not have survived the transport to the testing laboratory. Please direct any questions about Trich OSOM to a LifeLabs Medical Microbiologist.

Dr. Miguel Imperial, Medical Microbiologist

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