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: 6.22). 12/2012; 29(1). DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parasites, defined as eukaryotic microbes and parasitic worms that cause global diseases of human and veterinary importance, span many lineages in the eukaryotic Tree of Life. Historically challenging to study due to their complicated life-cycles and association with impoverished settings, their inherent complexities are now being elucidated by genome sequencing. Over the course of the last decade, projects in large sequencing centers, and increasingly frequently in individual research labs, have sequenced dozens of parasite reference genomes and field isolates from patient populations. This ‘tsunami’ of genomic data is answering questions about parasite genetic diversity, signatures of evolution orchestrated through anti-parasitic drug and host immune pressure, and the characteristics of populations. This brief review focuses on the state of the art of parasitic protist genomics, how the peculiar genomes of parasites are driving creative methods for their sequencing, and the impact that next-generation sequencing is having on our understanding of parasite population genomics and control of the diseases they cause.
    Current Opinion in Microbiology 02/2015; 23(February 2015):Pages 49–54. DOI:10.1016/j.mib.2014.11.001 · 7.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Trichomonads are common parasites of many vertebrate and invertebrate species, with four species classically recognized as human parasites: Dientamoeba fragilis, Pentatrichomonas hominis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Trichomonas tenax. The latter two species are considered human-specific; by contrast, D. fragilis and P. hominis have been isolated from domestic and farm mammals, demonstrating a wide host range and potential zoonotic origin. Several new studies have highlighted the zoonotic dimension of trichomonads. First, species typically known to infect birds and domestic mammals have been identified in human clinical samples. Second, several phylogenetic analyses have identified animal-derived trichomonads as close sister taxa of the two human-specific species. It is our opinion, therefore, that these observations prompt further investigation into the importance of zoonotic trichomonads for human health.
    Trends in Parasitology 06/2014; 30(7). DOI:10.1016/ · 6.22 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 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. 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.
    Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 12/2014; 23(1). DOI:10.1097/QCO.0000000000000128 · 5.03 Impact Factor