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Genetic diversity in Trichomonas vaginalis

Abstract

Recent advances in genetic characterisation of Trichomonas vaginalis isolates show that the extensive clinical variability in trichomoniasis and its disease sequelae are matched by significant genetic diversity in the organism itself, suggesting a connection between the genetic identity of isolates and their clinical manifestations. Indeed, a high degree of genetic heterogeneity in T vaginalis isolates has been observed using multiple genotyping techniques. A unique two-type population structure that is both local and global in distribution has been identified, and there is evidence of recombination within each group, although sexual recombination between the groups appears to be constrained. There is conflicting evidence in these studies for correlations between T vaginalis genetic identity and clinical presentation, metronidazole susceptibility, and the presence of T vaginalis virus, underscoring the need for adoption of a common standard for genotyping the parasite. Moving forward, microsatellite genotyping and multilocus sequence typing are the most robust techniques for future investigations of T vaginalis genotype-phenotype associations.

  • Trichomonas
  • Epidemiology (Molecular)
  • Molecular Typing
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