IMR Press / FBL / Volume 11 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/1944

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article

Mycoplasma hominis and Trichomonas vaginalis: a unique case of symbiotic relationship between two obligate human parasites

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1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Microbiology, University of Sassari. Viale S.Pietro 43/B 07100 Sassari, Italy
Academic Editor:Maxim V. Trushin
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2006, 11(3), 2028–2034; https://doi.org/10.2741/1944
Published: 1 September 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent advances in mycoplasmology)
Abstract

Mollicutes are the smallest and simplest self-replicating microorganisms. Despite the minimal genome and apparent lack of complexity, mycoplasmas show a high degree of adaptation to the most diverse environments. Mycoplasma hominis is a human sexually transmitted mycoplasma which is able to establish a biological association with Trichomonas vaginalis, a pathogenic flagellated protist. M. hominis and T. vaginalis share the same specific natural niche, the human genitourinary tract. Symbiotic relationships between unicellular eukaryotes and bacteria are well known and have been extensively studied, providing interesting insights into the biology of one or both the symbionts. The relationship between T. vaginalis and M. hominis is unique in that it was the first described association of two obligated human parasites. Several aspects of this relationship have been investigated, showing how the trichomonad may be viewed not only as a new niche for M. hominis, but also as a "Trojan horse" for the transmission of the bacterial infection to the human host.

Keywords
Trichomonas vaginalis
Mycoplasma hominis
Symbiosis
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Review
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