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Related to Trichomonas vaginalis: Chlamydia trachomatis
, Candida albicans
, Entamoeba histolytica
, Giardia lamblia
a species frequently found in the vagina and urethra of women (in whom it causes trichomoniasis vaginitis) and in the urethra and prostate gland of men (the only known natural hosts); considerable differences in pathogenicity exist among various strains of this species.
Etymology: Gk, thrix + monas + L, vagina, sheath
a motile protozoan parasite that causes vaginitis with a copious malodorous discharge and pruritus. See also trichomoniasis
Trich·o·mo·nas vag·i·na·lis (trik'ō-mō'năs vaj-i-nā'lis)
A species of parasitic protozoan flagellates frequently found in the vagina and urethra of women, in whom it causes trichomonal vaginitis, and in the urethra and prostate gland of men.
TRICHOMONAS VAGINALIS (arrow) AND BACTERIA IN VAGINAL SMEAR (×1000)
A species found in the vagina that produces discharge. T. vaginalis
is fairly common in women, esp. during pregnancy or following vaginal surgery. It is sometimes found in the male urethra and may be transmitted through sexual intercourse. See: illustration
; colpitis macularis
T. vaginalis causes persistent burning, redness, and itching of the vulvar tissue associated with a profuse vaginal discharge that may be frothy or malodorous or both. Occasionally, infection with T. vaginalis is asymptomatic.
Metronidazole (Flagyl) is taken orally by the woman and her sexual partner. The drug is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy because of potential damage to the developing fetus; clotrimazole vaginal suppositories provide symptomatic relief during the first 12 weeks of gestation.
Alcohol should not be consumed during metronidazole therapy.