Plasma antibodies against Trichomonas vaginalis and subsequent risk of prostate cancer

Siobhan Sutcliffe, Edward Giovannucci, John F. Alderete, Te Hung Chang, Charlotte A. Gaydos, Jonathan M. Zenilman, Angelo M. De Marzo, Walter C. Willett, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Background: Although several previous case-control studies have investigated associations between sexually transmitted infections (STI) and prostate cancer, most have focused on gonorrhea and syphilis, two well-recognized, symptomatic STIs. Another STI of interest for prostate carcinogenesis is trichomonosis, a less well recognized and frequently asymptomatic STI with known prostate involvement. We investigated this infection in relation to incident prostate cancer in a nested case-control study within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Methods: Prostate cancer cases were men diagnosed with prostate cancer between the date of blood draw (1993-1995) and 2000 (n = 691). Controls were men who had had at least one prostate-specific antigen test and who were free of prostate cancer and alive at the time of case diagnosis. One control was individually matched to each case by age (n = 691). Serologic evidence of a history of trichomonosis was assessed by a recombinant Trichomonas vaginalis α-actinin IgG ELISA. Results: Thirteen percent of cases and 9% of controls were seropositive for trichomonosis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-2.03). This association persisted after additional adjustment for such factors as a history of other STIs, and was strongest among men who used aspirin infrequently over the course of their lives (odds ratio, 2.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-4.02, P interaction = 0.11). Conclusions: Serologic evidence of a history of trichomonosis was positively associated with incident prostate cancer in this large, nested case-control study of male health professionals. As this study is the first, to our knowledge, to investigate associations between T. vaginalis serology and prostate cancer, additional studies are necessary before conclusions can be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-945
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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