Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Jun 7. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001654. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted infection globally but routine screening is not recommended in HIV negative individuals. There is a significant racial/ethnic health disparity in TV infection rates. Evidence regarding the association between TV and adverse perinatal outcomes is conflicting, but a recent large meta-analysis found a modest increased risk of preterm birth with TV infection (OR 1.27, 95%CI 1.08, 1.50). The current study was undertaken to evaluate whether TV infection increases risk of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) in a high-risk obstetric cohort in Atlanta, Georgia.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of women delivering at a safety-net hospital in Atlanta between July 2016 and June 2018. Women delivering a singleton live fetus at >20 weeks gestation were included. TV diagnosis was by nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). The outcome of interest was sPTB prior to 37 weeks gestation. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate the effect of TV on sPTB controlling for confounding variables, including clinical and demographic characteristics. Several sensitivity analyses were undertaken.
RESULTS: There were 3,723 deliveries during the study period and approximately half (46%) were screened for TV with NAAT. After exclusions, the analytic cohort included 1,629 women. Median age was 26 years (interquartile range 22, 31) and 70% of participants were listed as non-Hispanic Black in the electronic medical record. TV prevalence was 16% (n = 257). The sPTB rate was 7% (n = 112). In multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling, TV infection was not associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of sPTB (HR 1.34; 95%CI 0.84, 2.13, p = 0.22). Factors associated with sPTB included history of prior PTB, adequate plus or transfer of prenatal care (versus adequate/intermediate prenatal care utilization using the Kotelchuck index), recreational substance use and Chlamydia trachomatis diagnosed during the current pregnancy. Results were not substantively different in sensitivity analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: TV prevalence was high in this cohort. TV infection was not associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of sPTB. Nevertheless, the magnitude of effect is consistent with prior meta-analyses.