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What is the importance of zoonotic trichomonads for human health?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robert HirtORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maritz JM, Land KM, Carlton JM, Hirt RP

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trends in Parasitology

Year: 2014

Volume: 30

Issue: 7

Pages: 333-341

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Online publication date: 18/06/2014

ISSN (print): 1471-4922

ISSN (electronic): 1471-5007



DOI: 10.1016/