IL-22 Levels are Associated with Trichomonas vaginalis Infection in the Lower Genital Tract



Greg Spear, Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush University Medical Center, 1735 W. Harrison, Cohn 626, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.




IL-22 has important functions at mucosal surfaces, including the induction of antimicrobial peptides and maintenance of epithelium. However, IL-22 has not been investigated in the genital tract during TV infection.

Methods of Study

Women who visited an STD clinic and women from a cohort with frequent Trichomoniasis were studied. IL-22, IL-17, and antimicrobial peptides were measured in cervicovaginal lavage by ELISA.


In women visiting the STD clinic, those without STDs (n = 10) had a median IL-22 of 0 pg/mL, while women with infections (n = 30) had 27 pg/mL (P = 0.04). In the cohort, women with Trichomoniasis (n = 19) had significantly higher IL-22 than women with no infections (n = 21, 74 versus 0 pg/mL, P = 0.0001). IL-17 was also significantly increased in Trichomoniasis, and there was a correlation between IL-22 and IL-17 (P = 0.001).


IL-22 is increased in STDs generally and in Trichomoniasis specifically suggesting an antimicrobial response of the mucosa and an epithelial repair process induced by the STDs.