The presence of Mycoplasma hominis in isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis impacts significantly on DNA fingerprinting results
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The genetic characterization of Trichomonas vaginalis (Protista: Trichomonadidae), the causative agent of trichomoniasis in humans, is central to understanding the epidemiology, treatment, drug resistance, and virulence as well as the diagnosis and control of this parasite. Various molecular approaches, including DNA fingerprinting, have been employed for this purpose, and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) continues to be utilized. However, little attention has been paid to the fact that some T. vaginalis populations can harbor symbiotic Mycoplasma hominis and/or other agents, which could cause artifacts in the RAPD results. In the present study, we demonstrate clearly that the presence of M. hominis from T. vaginalis isolates impacts significantly on RAPD results and on the subsequent analyses and interpretation of data sets. Moreover, symbiotic M. hominis displays an isolate-to-isolate variability in RAPD profile before elimination, suggesting a variability of M. hominis infection.
We thank Drs. Robin B. Gasser and Christine L. Miller for their critical review of the manuscript. This work was supported, in part, by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (no. 04105510), the Ministry of National Education (IRT0447) and the Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University (985 Project, no. 3253280) to ZRL.
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