Trichomoniasis: useful information for everyone
Trichomoniasis is a unique disease in the full sense of the word. On the one hand, it occurs three times more often than syphilis, chlamydia and HIV. But, on the other hand, it often remains without due attention, both from the side of doctors, and from the side of the patients themselves.
Often a woman undergoes long-term treatment of ureaplasmosis-mycoplasmosis, chlamydia, candidiasis, dysbiosis, just “leukocytosis in smears,” which exhausts her body and suppresses defenses, but complaints about periodic unpleasant discharge causing discomfort continue. In communication with such a woman suddenly pops in the information that in the smears sometimes found trichomonads, which then disappear, then appear again. Was the woman’s partner examined? From the answers of many women you will find out that most often the sexual partners remain aloof from any surveys. And, on the contrary, where the partner’s examination is not rational, he is sent to dozens of tests and conducts unreasonable treatment.
Trichomoniasis is a typical infection that is transmitted only through the sexual way, which means it is a small venereal disease. If a person has been diagnosed with Trichomonas and the diagnosis of Trichomoniasis is correct, it is necessary to understand that infection has sexually transmitted, so the sexual partner (s) should be examined and treated. Most cases of trichomoniasis in men are not diagnosed! Unprotected sex should be stopped for the period of treatment. Most often both partners need treatment.
Prevalence of trichomoniasis
In the world, according to the WHO, trichomoniasis annually affects 170-180 million people, which significantly exceeds the incidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia. In the United States, up to 10 million people are infected with Trichomonas, and 11 million in Europe. More than 150 million people are infected in developing countries. These indicators can be much higher (according to other sources, more than 270 million people are infected in the world). In fact, this is the only venereal disease that is not subject to registration and reporting in most of the world’s countries.
The prevalence of the disease depends on the socio-economic conditions of the population and the availability of timely high-quality medical care, good hygiene, and the level of education of people. For example, in the US, black people are more likely to be infected with trichomoniasis. Throughout the world, the level of patients with trichomoniasis in adolescents is increasing, because many of them have an active sex life.
Trichomonas infection occurs in 29-84% of women (depending on the region), and half of these women have no complaints and signs of disease. Women who have casual sex, suffer from trichomoniasis 3.5 times more often than women who have a single sexual partner.
With regard to trichomoniasis in men, there are a lot of gaps in the medical literature: a trichomonas infection in men is almost not studied. The last serious publications on this topic were about 50 years ago.
Trichomonas infection is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Vaginal Trichomonas refers to the simplest, flagellate class, the genus Trichomonads, and is a mobile unicellular organism.
Trichomonas are not just a parasite, but a real predator that absorbs bacteria (for example, gonococci), epithelial cells (vaginas, urethras) and red blood cells (erythrocytes). It is also absorbed by the protective cells of the body – macrophages.
The causative agent of trichomoniasis was first detected in vaginal smears in 1836 by the French doctor Alfred Donne. Initially, he suggested a connection between pathological secretions in women and this microorganism, but then abandoned this idea. For 80 years, vaginal Trichomonas were considered harmless living beings, until in 1916 O. Hyun from Germany confirmed the connection between the parasite and trichomoniasis.
Despite the fact that Trichomonas is a unicellular organism, its structure is rather complicated. The form of the trichomonads is usually pear-shaped, but when attached and interacted with the cells of the mucous membranes, they appear “tentacles” and in shape they resemble amoebas.
The genetic material of Trichomonas contains about 60,000 genes responsible for the production of proteins. On the surface of the shell, this parasite has more than 300 different proteins from ten groups of proteins. This is important to know, because it is because of so many proteins (antigens) that many serological tests, especially commercial ones, by definition of antigens and antibodies are low-sensitivity.
The energy metabolism of Trichomonases is completely dependent on carbohydrates. Trichomonads do not produce many nutrients, but they are obtained through the destruction of host cells, primarily epithelial cells.