by Claire Taylor
Lesley Navaratne2, Mark Clune1, John White1
1Preventx, 2Maidstone And Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
Online postal self-sampling services (OPSS) enable female service users to test for gonorrhoea, chlamydia and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection with self-collected vaginal swab samples. During the COVID period, our use of TV testing in this setting detected a significant reservoir of TV among both symptomatic and asymptomatic women, associated with racially minoritised communities (RMCs) and increased deprivation. We queried our 2022 TV testing data to determine if TV rates had reduced in response to testing and treatment in these populations.
In addition to GC/CT testing, targeted TV testing is offered routinely to women from RMCs as well as those reporting vaginal discharge symptoms during online triage for our OPSS in south-east England. TV testing was done using the Cobas TV PCR assay (Roche). We conducted a retrospective analysis of TV testing data obtained from Q1-Q3 2022 and compared positivity rates with those from 2021, analysing by ethnicity and symptom status.
The overall TV positivity rate observed for 2022 was 2.7% (133/4848), a slight increase from 2.4% seen in 2021 (151/6391), but not statistically significant (p=0.2015).
The TV positivity rate among asymptomatic women from RMCs was 1.9% (31/1642), also up from 1.6% in 2021 (31/1946), but not significantly (p=0.4994). TV rates among women with vaginal discharge also increased to 3.2% (102/3206) in 2022, up from 2.9% (117/3984) in 2021 (p=0.5483).
TV rates in our OPSS population in 2022 remained high despite implementation of TV testing over 2 years ago. TV positivity is higher than GC, syphilis and HIV in this population. Ongoing targeted testing, treatment and partner notification for TV via OPSS is warranted.