Trichomonas vaginalis, IgG antibodies
Why this test?
To understand whether a person is infected with Trichomonas vaginalis.
This allows us to establish the nature of the inflammatory process.
In what cases is it prescribed?
With symptoms of trichomoniasis.
When trichomoniasis is detected in the patient's sexual partner.
When planning a pregnancy to prevent complications.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a type of protozoa that causes trichomoniasis in humans. This disease is sexually transmitted. Trichomonads can survive for some time (usually no more than an hour) outside the human body (in a moist environment), so the non-sexual route of infection cannot be completely ruled out, but it is rare.
Men and women are infected equally often, but the disease is found more often in women. About half of infected women and almost all infected men have no symptoms. In addition, there is evidence that trichomonads often disappear in a man's body without treatment. The incubation period is 5-28 days.
Symptoms of trichomoniasis -
In case of women:
- gray or yellowish foamy discharge from the vagina,
- redness, itching, irritation of the external genitalia,
- pain during urination, sexual intercourse.
In case of men:
- irritation, inflammation of the urinary tract,
- minor secretions from the urinary tract,
- mild burning during urination or ejaculation.
In addition, trichomoniasis can lead to complications during pregnancy (regardless of whether the infection is accompanied by external manifestations): premature birth, low birth weight of the newborn.
There is evidence that trichomoniasis increases the likelihood of cervical cancer
and prostate cancer. Although, in general, the question of how likely complications are with trichomoniasis has not yet been sufficiently studied.
Trichomoniasis is diagnosed using microscopy, PCR, or culture. Recently, serological methods (based on the determination of antibodies), in particular enzyme immunoassay (ELISA), are often used. ELISA sensitivity is estimated at 94-95%, specificity - at 77-85%.
After pathogenic microorganisms enter the body, it begins to fight them. One of the ways to fight is the production of antibodies (special immunoglobulin proteins). There are several types of them: IgG, IgM, IgA, etc.
Antibodies of class G (IgG) are present in the blood in the largest amount compared to other types. As a rule, during infection, IgG is not the first to appear (later than IgM), but its level remains high for a long time (months and years).
As you know, IgG antibodies provide a secondary immune response (which is called immunity). If a person who has already contracted this disease once becomes infected again, then IgG will appear faster and in larger quantities than before. However, with trichomoniasis, immunity is often not formed, so a person can be infected several times during his life.
The level of IgG does not necessarily reflect the severity of the disease. The probability of detecting IgG antibodies does not depend on whether trichomoniasis is accompanied by painful manifestations. Immunoglobulins M are more informative in this sense (they are less common in asymptomatic carriers of trichomonads).
The number of antibodies is expressed as a titer. The titer is the maximum dilution of the solution at which antibodies are still detected in it. For example, an antibody titer of 1:16 means that if the blood serum is diluted 16 times, antibodies can still be detected in it (and if it is stronger, then they are no longer detected).
The titer is called high (for example, 1: 612) or low (for example, 1: 4), its specific value depends on the sensitivity of the method. That is, such an assessment is semi-quantitative.