The Pap smear has been in use for more than half a century as the primary screening test for preinvasive and invasive lesions of the uterine cervix. Although not the primary use and an imperfect test, it can be extremely useful in the diagnosis of some microorganisms. This review focuses on the use of the Pap smear in the diagnosis of several microorganisms including Actinomyces, Chlamydia trachomatis, Candida, Trichomonas vaginalis, Leptothrix vaginalis, Herpes Simplex Virus, the causative agents of bacterial vaginosis, and other rarer organisms. The accuracy of diagnosis using the smear varies among the different organisms in question.
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