- Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is a 5-15 µm, pear-shaped, motile, flagellated protozoan parasite that exists in trophozoite stage only [Fig. 1; life cycle].
- Facultative anaerobe, divides by binary fission; optimal growth in moist milieu at a pH of 4.9-7.5 and a temperature of 35oC-37oC.
- Trichomonads gather in clusters on the stratified urogenital epithelium, covering only a small surface area; invade the superficial epithelium causing damage directly beneath the clustered trichomonads; non-specific inflammatory response is noted in the lamina propria with plasma cells, lymphocytes, and neutrophils present. Superficial ulceration of the epithelium can occur.
- Can survive up to 45 minutes on clothing, washcloths, and in bath water.
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