Getting trichy: tools and approaches to interrogating Trichomonas vaginalis in a post-genome world.
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.
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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/j.pt.2014.05.005 · 6.22 Impact Factor
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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.Sexually transmitted infections 05/2013; 89(6). DOI:10.1136/sextrans-2013-051105 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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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