Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Trichomonas tenax

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4471-1


Greek (trichos = tiny, thin hair; monas = simple organism and Latin (tenere = keep, hold fast).

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide, especially in persons with reduced oral hygiene.

Morphology/Life Cycle

T. tenax occurs only as flagellated, vegetative stage in the oral cavity of humans reaching a length of 5–16 μm. This stage possesses four free flagella at the anterior pole and a lateral recurrent one (Fig. 1). Reproduction occurs by repeated longitudinal binary fission. They feed on bacteria, which they ingest by phagocytosis. However, they ingest also masses of glycogen from food remnants in the teeth. Mass reproduction occurs in cases, when the oral microflora has increased due to low oral hygiene. Intestinal passage is apparently not survivable for these specimens.


Drinking Water Oral Cavity Microscopical Investigation Oral Hygiene Vegetative Stage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Further Reading

  1. El Sibaei MM et al (2012) Growth kinetics, antigen profiling and proteinase activity of Egyptian Trichomonas tenax isolates derived from patients having oral infections. Exp Parasitol 130:416–422CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Nielsen TJ et al (2012) Glycogen accumulation and degradation by the trichomonads Trichomonas vaginalis and T. tenax. J Eukaryot Microbiol 59:359–366CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany