Getting trichy: Tools and approaches to interrogating Trichomonas vaginalis in a post-genome world

Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, Department of Biology, New York University, 12 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10003, USA.
Trends in Parasitology (Impact Factor: 6.2). 12/2012; 29(1). DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed


Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women, with a worldwide presence and significant implications for global public health. T. vaginalis research entered the age of genomics with the publication of the first genome sequence in 2007, but subsequent utilization of other 'omics' technologies and methods has been slow. Here, we review some of the tools and approaches available to interrogate T. vaginalis biology, with an emphasis on recent advances and current limitations, and draw attention to areas where further efforts are needed to examine effectively the complex and intriguing biology of the parasite.

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    ABSTRACT: Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite in humans. Metronidazole has been the gold standard for treatment of trichomoniasis. The prevalence of metronidazole resistance and its unpleasant adverse effects drew the attention to the investigation of other lines of treatment, as that of herbal medicine. Garlic has been proven to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal, and antihelminthic activity. The current study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available garlic (Tomex®) on T. vaginalis in vitro. The effect of different concentrations of garlic (12.5, 25, 50, and 100 μg/ml) was determined on multiplication and motility of trophozoites at different time points (after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h) in comparison to the same concentrations of metronidazole at the same different time points. The results showed that parasite multiplication inhibition was noticed in proportion of concentration of Tomex and incubation time. The minimal lethal concentration of Tomex was 100 μg/ml after 24 h, 50 μg/ml after 48 h, 25 μg/ml after 72 h, and 12.5 μg/ml after 96 h. These results were similar to that of metronidazole as its minimal lethal concentration was 50 μg/ml after 24 and 48 h and 12.5 μg/ml after 72 and 96 h. Garlic had completely inhibited the motility of trophozoites with concentration of 100 μg/ml after 24 h, 50 μg/ml after 48 h, 25 μg/ml after 72 h, and 12.5 μg/ml after 96 h while metronidazole had completely inhibited the motility of trophozoites with concentration of 50 μg/ml after 24 h, 25 μg/ml after 48 h, and 12.5 μg/ml after 72 and 96 h. This suggests that commercially available garlic (Tomex®) may be a promising phytotherapeutic agent for trichomoniasis.
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    ABSTRACT: The elusive nature of Trichomonas vaginalis, the most common, non-viral, sexually transmitted pathogen has hampered our knowledge of its significance for human health for over 150 years. The combination of epidemiology, molecular cell biology, immunology and more recently genomics and other allied omics data, are all contributing at shedding new light onto what is increasingly recognised as a significant human pathogen leading to important health sequelae due to multifaceted interactions with its human host, the human microbiota, bacterial pathogens and viruses. The integrations of these various data are contributing in important ways to refining our understanding of the parasite pathobiology and virulent factors. Indeed, it is increasingly recognised that to rationalise the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic treatments for human pathogens it is important to integrate the broadest possible spectrum of human-microbial-parasite-virus interactions in relation to qualitative and quantitative variations in the human innate and adaptive defence responses. This short review aims at providing an integrative overview of T vaginalis virulent factors by taking into account the importance of the human-microbiota-parasite-virus interplay in human health. It also highlights selected cellular characteristics of the parasite often overlooked in the biological and medical literature.
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