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Trichomonas vaginalis virulence factors: an integrative overview

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robert HirtORCiD



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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hirt RP

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sexually Transmitted Infections

Year: 2013

Volume: 89

Pages: 439-443

Print publication date: 21/05/2013

ISSN (print): 1368-4973

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3263


DOI: 10.1136/sextrans-2013-051105

PubMed id: 23694938