Basic biological aspects of Tritrichomonas foetus of re-levance to the treatment of bovines suffering of tricho-moniasis


Tritrichomonas foetus is a flagellate protozoan and the etiological agent of bovine genital tri-chomoniasis [1], which is an infectious vene- real disease. This parasite is usually found as- sociated with the mucosal surface of the uro- genital tract in females or the male preputial and penile membranes. In females, the clinical ma-nifestations may include abortion, with repe- tition of estrus at irregular intervals, vaginitis, cervicitis, endometritis, and pyometra. Parasi- tized males may have a discharge with small nodules in the preputial membrane. After that, the bulls have no clinical symptoms, and are thus an asymptomatic carrier that may spread the infection. Considering that a bull could cover up to twenty females [2], bovine genital trichomoniasis is a serious medical and veteri- nary problem, with economical repercussion for beef and milk production. As T. foetus is an amitochondrial and aerotolerant organism, en- ergy production under low O2 tension in the protozoan is done via hydrogenosome, which, as the name suggests, is the organelle where H2 is generated [3,4,5]. The molecular machinery of mitochondrial cell death is, therefore, absent in this parasite and the mechanism that activates of cell death program is not clear. This review seeks to understand the characteristics of the protozoan parasite T. foetus in order to propose new therapies for animals suffering from this infectious and contagious agent.

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Silva, N. , Machado, S. , Filho, F. and Pacheco-Soares, C. (2011) Basic biological aspects of Tritrichomonas foetus of re-levance to the treatment of bovines suffering of tricho-moniasis. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 1, 112-120. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2011.13015.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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