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Basic biology of Trichomonas vaginalis: current explorations and future directions
  1. Kirkwood M Land,
  2. Lisa A Wrischnik
  1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kirkwood M Land, Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211, USA; kland{at}

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Trichomonas vaginalis is a member of the Parabasalia, a group of single-celled eukaryotes within the clade Excavata, which also includes parasites of genera such as Giardia and Trypanosoma. The ability to culture the parasite under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions has allowed simple manipulation in the laboratory. Studies of the basic biology of this organism not only provide important information about its unique cellular and metabolic features and contribute to our understanding of the evolution of anaerobic parasites and diversity among eukaryotes, but also contribute to the design of new drugs to cure infections.

The publication of the genome sequence in 20071 identified several unique characteristics of the organism, such as the large genome size (∼160 megabases), extensive gene duplication and presence of families of transposable elements. It also facilitated data mining and the generation of ‘omic’ data sets, especially from transcriptomic and proteomic studies.2 For example, purification of hydrogenosomes and the subsequent sequencing of proteins via …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.