Trichomonas vaginalis origins, molecular pathobiology and clinical considerations : Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases

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Trichomonas vaginalis origins, molecular pathobiology and clinical considerations

Hirt, Robert P.a; Sherrard, Jackieb

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Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 28(1):p 72-79, February 2015. | DOI: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000128


Purpose of review 

To integrate a selection of the most recent data on Trichomonas vaginalis origins, molecular cell biology and T. vaginalis interactions with the urogenital tract microbiota with trichomoniasis symptoms and clinical management.

Recent findings 

Transcriptomics and proteomics datasets are accumulating, facilitating the identification and prioritization of key target genes to study T. vaginalis pathobiology. Proteins involved in host sensing and cytoskeletal plasticity during T. vaginalis amoeboid transformation were identified. T. vaginalis was shown to secrete exosomes and a macrophage migration inhibitory factor-like protein that both influence host–parasite interactions. T. vaginalis co-infections with Mycoplasma species and viruses were shown to modulate the inflammatory responses, whereas T. vaginalis interactions with various Lactobacillus species inhibit parasite interactions with human cells. T. vaginalis infections were also shown to be associated with bacterial vaginosis. A broader range of health sequelae is also becoming apparent. Diagnostics for both women and men based on the molecular approaches are being refined, in particular for men.


New developments in the molecular and cellular basis of T. vaginalis pathobiology combined with data on the urogenital tract microbiota and immunology have enriched our knowledge on human–microbe interactions that will contribute to increasing our capacity to prevent and treat T. vaginalis and other sexually transmitted infections.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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