Lab Test

Trichomonas vaginalis by PCR

Trichomoniasis, Trich, Vaginosis, Vaginitis, STI, NAA, NAAT

Test Codes




Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One of the following specimen types:

  1. Vaginal/Endocervical Swab in one of the following:
    • Cepheid Xpert® swab media (FDA-approved)
    • Universal Transport media (UVT)
  2. Urine:
    • Cepheid Xpert® Urine Transport media
    • Unpreserved, first catch urine in a sterile container. (Minimum: 8.0 mL)

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

  • Vaginal/Endocervical Swab: Maintain refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).  
  • Urine: Maintain refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). Urine in Xpert® Urine Transport media may be maintained at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Urine in a sterile collection container or vaginal/endocervical swab, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). Urine in Xpert® Urine Transport media may be maintained at room temperature.(20-26°C or 68-78.8°F)

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens submitted in media other than those listed above.
  • Specimens submitted in bacterial transport systems.
  • Specimens submitted on cotton or calcium alginate swabs, or on wooden shaft swabs.
  • Specimens frozen.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Cepheid Xpert® Vaginal/Endocervical Swabs
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 14 days
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 28 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): NA

Universal Transport Media (UVT) Vaginal/Endocervical Swabs
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): NA

Urine in Xpert® Urine Transport Media

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 14 daysRefrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 28 daysFrozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): NA

Urine (Unpreserved/Neat)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 4 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): NA


Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory
Taylor, Trenton and Wayne sent to Dearborn Microbiology Laboratory for testing.

Farmington Hills Laboratory

Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory
Grosse Pointe and Troy sent to Royal Oak Microbiology Laboratory for testing.


Sunday – Saturday.
Results available within 48 hours.

NOTE: Samples may be sent out to Warde reference lab as determined by the laboratory. This is to assist in the conservation of in-house resources during the COVID pandemic. Warde performs Trichomonas vaginalis by PCR testing Monday – Friday, with a turnaround time of 2-4 days.

Reference Range


Test Methodology

Nucleic Acid Amplification (FDA Approved; Cepheid XpertT®).


A negative result does not rule out Trichomonas vaginalis infection. Trichomonas tenax, a normal commensal of the oral cavity, will give a false positive test result and should be considered for individuals engaging in oral-genital sex.

Clinical Utility

This assay provides a highly sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis infection from both female and male genitourinary specimens.

Clinical Disease

Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan that resides in the female lower genital tract and in the urethra and prostate of males. Symptoms in females can include itching, burning, redness, or soreness of the genitals, unusual odor, discomfort with urination, or a thin clear, white, yellow, or green discharge.2 In men, trichomoniasis may cause non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU). Symptoms in males can include itching or burning inside the penis, burning after ejaculation or urination, or penile discharge.


The protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis is responsible for trichomoniasis, which is a common sexually transmitted infection that can infect both men and women. There are 7.4 million cases of trichomoniasis annually in the United States. Trichomoniasis infections can be symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Incubation Period

The incubation period ranges from 5-28 days.

CPT Codes

LOINC: 69937-1, 62461-9


Last Updated


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