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Clin Ther. 2014 Jan 1;36(1):38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2013.11.009.

An association between Trichomonas vaginalis and high-risk human papillomavirus in rural Tanzanian women undergoing cervical cancer screening.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, Arusha, Tanzania.
Department of Medicine, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina. Electronic address:



The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of vaginitis and its association with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) in women undergoing cervical cancer screening in rural Tanzania.


For the purpose of cervical cancer screening, cytology and HR HPV polymerase chain reaction data were collected from 324 women aged between 30 and 60 years. Microscopy and gram stains were used to detect yeast and bacterial vaginosis. Cervical nucleic acid amplification test specimens were collected for the detection of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


The majority of women were married (320 of 324) and reported having a single sexual partner (270 of 324); the median age of participants was 41 years. HR HPV was detected in 42 participants. Forty-seven percent of women had vaginitis. Bacterial vaginosis was the most common infection (32.4%), followed by TV (10.4%), and yeast (6.8%). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, TV was associated with an increased risk of HR HPV (odds ratio, 4.2 [95% CI, 1.7-10.3]). Patients with TV were 6.5 times more likely to have HPV type 16 than patients negative for TV (50% vs 13.3%) (odds ratio, 6.5 [95% CI, 1.1-37]).


Among rural Tanzanian women who presented for cervical cancer screening, Trichomonas vaginitis was significantly associated with HR HPV infection (specifically type 16).


HPV 16; Tanzania; Trichomonas vaginalis; cervical cancer; human papillomavirus; vaginitis

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