A researcher at Washington State University in Pullman has published an article in the journal Pathogens regarding a new test he has created to detect a very common, but hard to detect STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).

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John Alderete, a professor in WSU's School of Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying this particular STI for years, finding that it has father reaching impacts even though it is easily curable after detection.

Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Testing has been available for years through drawing blood and sending the vial to a lab for results.  Dr. Alderete has developed a finger prick test, to detect a specific antibody, that can deliver results in approximately five minutes for Trichomoniasis, also known as trich.  The test would also be extremely affordable, costing around $20.

What is Trich?

More common than STIs like gonorrhea or chlamydia, trich is considered to be the most common curable STI in the world.  It is caused by infection with Trichomonas vaginalis which is a protozoan parasite. There are believed to be just over 276 million infections globally.


What makes trich a little different from other STIs is roughly 70% of people infected never develop symptoms.  Symptoms can appear then disappear after infection.  Women are at a higher risk to contract the disease than men and older women tend to be more likely than younger women to contract trich.

What are the Signs and Symptoms

In men they are itching, irritation, and discharge from the penis along with burning after urinating or after climax during sex.  In women it is itching, burning, redness, or soreness of the genitals, discomfort while urinating, and A clear, white, yellowish, or greenish vaginal discharge accompanied by a fishy smell.


The good news is it is extremely curable upon detection with a prescription of metronidazole.  The bad news is that left untreated is has been linked to a number of health issues:

  • Pelvic Inflammation Disease (PID)
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Prostatitis
  • Infertility
  • Can contribute to more aggressive forms of prostate cancer
  • Pregnancy complications like low birth weight and premature birth
  • An increased risk in contracting HIV

Alderete said in the officially release from WSU that "This STI may be the most neglected among the other curable STIs. We just have not done a good job in medicine to educate people."  The hope is that more awareness of the disease will be created.

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