Trichomonas vaginalis harboring Mycoplasma hominis increases cytopathogenicity in vitro
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The parasite Trichomonas vaginalis causes one of the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infections in humans. Mycoplasmas are frequently found with trichomonads but the consequences of this association are not yet known. In the present study, the effects of T. vaginalis harboring M. hominis on human vaginal epithelial cells and on MDCK cells are described. The results were analyzed by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, as well as using cell viability assays. There was an increase in the cytopathic effects on the epithelial cells infected with T. vaginalis associated with M. hominis compared to T. vaginalis alone. The epithelial cells exhibited an increase in the intercellular spaces, a lesser viability, and increased destruction provoked by the infected T. vaginalis. In addition, the trichomonads presented a higher amoeboid transformation rate and an intense phagocytic activity, characteristics of higher virulence behavior.
KeywordsTrichomonas vaginalis Mycoplasmas Vaginal epithelial cells Cytopathogenicity
The authors are grateful to Juliana Leal and Renata Martucci (PABCAM) for technical assistance in the work of hVEC cultures. This work was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Programa de Núcleos de Excelência (PRONEX), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Ensino Superior (CAPES) and Associação Universitária Santa Úrsula (AUSU).
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