Trichomonas and Tritrichomonas PCR test for cats
dog and cat assay data sheet
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection but not differentiation of several common
Trichomonas/Tritrichomonas species, including T. gallinae, T.
gallinarum, T foetus/suis, T. vaginalis and T. equi, by real time polymerase
X0013 is included on
P0028 - feline diarrhea panel
Many species in the genus Trichomonas/Tritrichomonas can infect
man, but trichomoniasis is also a major problem in poultry, birds and
horses. All trichomonads have three to five anterior flagella, an
undulating membrane, and a recurrent flagellum attached to the edge of
the undulating membrane. There is no cyst stage for this protozoan
Following are some Trichomonads posing major health threats to humans,
livestock, birds and other animals:
causes avian trichomoniasis. When present, it is usually found in the
upper digestive tract of many species of doves and gallinaceous birds.
Some strains may also produce liver and lung lesions. The parasite is
transferred to young from the mother during feeding. Transmission
between birds may also occur from contaminated feed and water.
Infection by this trichomonad can be fatal. The presence of this
organism in doves is a common source of infection of falcons and hawks
feeding on them.
is mainly detected in cecum and liver of gallinaceous birds but it can
also be found in other visceral organs of the infected animals. T.
gallinarum affects many birds including poultry, and can cause
morbidity and mortality especially in young birds.
T. foetus and T. suis are almost identical in genomic
composition, morphologic structures, ultrastructure, distribution,
host specificity, characteristics of in vitro cultivation, immunology
and biochemistry (Lun et al., 2005). Thus, it has been proposed that
T. foetus and T. suis are synonyms. While the parasite
can be found in the nasal passage, stomach, colon and large intestine
of swine, it does not appear to cause major health problems in them.
This trichomonad, however, causes trichomoniasis in cattle, resulting
in significant economic loss. The parasite is sexually transmitted and
resides in the reproductive tract of cattle. In females, the infection
may result in low-grade inflammation, sterility and poor conception
rate. In males, symptoms vary from no apparent signs to inflammation
of the prepuce. Treatment is difficult and usually not attempted.
Slaughter or breeding rest (females) are the usual methods employed in
dealing with bovine trichomoniasis.
Like other trichomonads, this organism multiplies by simple binary
fission and does not posses a cyst stage. This organism is called
Tritrichomonas foetus because it has three long flagellae at one
Traditionally, diagnosis was mainly based on microscopic evaluation of
the trophozoite stage. Mucus, exudates or saline washes from the
vagina and preputial cavity are the best samples for microscopic
examination. In cases of abortion, allantoic and amniotic fluids as
well as fetal tissues and membranes are examined. Serologic detection
by agglutination is also possible. However, none of these testing
methods are very sensitive, resulting in high false negative rates.
causes human trichomoniasis. This parasite also resides in the human
reproductive tract. This is one of the most common sexually
transmitted diseases of man and often occurs with other more severe
concurrent infections. Chronic reproductive and urinary problems may
result in females. The parasite is transmitted sexually. Prevalence in
human populations varies between 10 and 25% among women. Only about
15% of infected women show clinical signs; many infected women are
Other trichomonads known to infect humans include Trichomonas tenax
from the tarter and gums of the mouth and Pentatrichomonas hominis
from the human colon.
This parasite lives in
the intestine of horses and can be a potential cause of diarrhea in
Diagnosis of trichomoniasis may not be easy due to clinical symptoms
which may resemble those of poxvirus, candidiasis or vitamin A
deficiency. Trichomonas can be misidentified in initial
microscopic examination because of its similarity to Giardia.
The other difficulty in identification of this parasite is that the
trichomonad does not survive long after the death of the host.
Complementary testing by PCR may be used to eliminate false negative
microscopy results. Molecular detection by PCR does not require living
parasites and provides a high degree of sensitivity and specificity.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Help ensure that animal populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of this parasite among a group of
Minimize human exposure to this parasite
Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines that derive
from susceptible animals
Lun, Z.R., Chen, X.G.,
Zhu, X.Q., Li, X.R. and Xie, M.Q. (2005) Are Tritrichomonas foetus and
Tritrichomonas suis synonyms? Trends Parasitol. 21:122-125.
Preferred specimens: rectal, vaginal, cloacal,
oral or other mucus secretion swab, or 0.2 ml feces (diarrhea
Less preferred specimens: 0.2 ml whole blood
in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen
or fixed tissue.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or
during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen
in transit. See
shipping instructions for more information.
Turnaround time: 2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR
Normal range: Nondetected