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New Research Demonstrates High Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Disease Trichomonas Vaginalis and Potential of New Molecular Test to Improve Detection
Date:7/13/2011

SAN DIEGO, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Two new studies presented this week at a leading infectious disease meeting demonstrate that sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is more common than previously thought, especially in women over 40, and that a recently cleared molecular test can help improve detection of the often overlooked but potentially serious infection.

"This new research shows that Trichomonas is an important public health issue, especially in women over 40," said Ingo Chakravarty, Gen-Probe's vice president and general manager for women's health.  "We believe our APTIMA® Trichomonas assay, which was cleared by the FDA in April for use on the fully automated TIGRIS® system, can play an important role in highlighting the prevalence of the STD and intercepting infections before they cause serious complications."

The two studies were presented at the 19th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research (ISSTDR), which ended today in Quebec City, Canada.

"Trichomonas is the Rodney Dangerfield of STDs – it gets no respect," said Kimberle Chapin, MD, professor of pathology and medicine at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island.  "If left untreated, Trichomonas infections can lead to prenatal complications such as premature membrane rupture during pregnancy, pre-term delivery and low birth weight offspring.  Trichomonas also has been associated with increased susceptibility to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and prolonged infection with the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer.  Screening for Trichomonas is important because infections don't always cause symptoms, yet can be treated easily with antibiotics when detected."

In the first study presented at the ISSTDR meeting, researchers tested 7,593 women in 21 states with Gen-Probe's APTIMA Trichomonas assay, which detects the p
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