Detection of the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis RNA in vaginal swab or in urine.

Clinical Significance

Trichomonas vaginalis RNA, Qualitative Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) assay is a nucleic acid amplification test that uses TMA for detection of T. vaginalis RNA in vaginal swabs (preferred), female or male urine, or endocervical swabs. It is used in the screening and diagnosis of trichomoniasis.

Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States, with an estimated 1.1 million new cases each year. It is curable. About 70% of people infected with T. vaginalis are asymptomatic, though symptoms may show up after the infection has been present for some time. In women, symptoms include vaginal and/or urethral discharge, painful urination and genital burning and discomfort.


In women, untreated T. vaginalis infection can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervical neoplasia. T. vaginalis infection is associated with a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of HIV infection in women, as well as increased risk of preterm labor.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends T. vaginalis testing for women with vaginal discharge or cervicitis. Because of the high rate of reinfection in individuals treated for T. vaginalis, CDC also recommends repeat testing 3 months after treatment. Additionally, screening is recommended for HIV-infected women at the first HIV-related visit, with follow-up T. vaginalis testing annually. For pregnant women with HIV infection, T. vaginalis screening is recommended at the first prenatal visit.