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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Sep;39(9):3197-9.

Evaluation of the Affirm Ambient Temperature Transport System for the detection and identification of Trichomonas vaginalis, Gardnerella vaginalis, and Candida species from vaginal fluid specimens.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pathology, St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240, USA. hbrown@stvincent.org


The objective of this study was to measure the performance of the Affirm Ambient Temperature Transport System (ATTS) over time and to estimate the length of time the system can preserve a vaginal specimen containing the three common organisms causing vaginitis: Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida species, and Gardnerella vaginalis (one of the causative agents of bacterial vaginosis). Women with symptoms of vaginitis presenting to one of three clinical centers were evaluated over a 4- to 8-week period. Four simultaneously obtained swabs were collected and tested by the Affirm VPIII assay at time zero with and without a preservative reagent, at 24 h with reagent, and at either 48 or 72 h with reagent. For each of the three organisms, Trichomonas, Gardnerella, and Candida, positivity at each time point was evaluated and compared to that at reference time zero with and without the ATTS. A total of 940 specimens were obtained from the three clinical sites. Eight hundred three were positive for one or more of the three organisms. Gardnerella had the highest overall positive rate (62%), followed by Candida with 18% and Trichomonas at 9%. The percent sensitivity versus control for Trichomonas ranged from 100% at time zero with and without reagent to 91% by 72 h. Gardnerella and Candida sensitivity remained at 100% for each time period. The Affirm VPIII ATTS system performed within 10% of the control swab (no transport reagent) at all four time points (0, 24, 48, and 72 h) for Trichomonas, Gardnerella, and Candida.

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