ParaSite created by Natalie Ramos for Human Biology 103
Stanford University, Spring 2005

T. vaginalis (x1000, x2000)

Trichomoniasis is one of the most common curable sexually transmitted infections. It is caused by a parasitic protozoan called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although both women and men contract trichomoniasis, men are more likely to be asymptomatic. Trichomoniasis does not usually have long-term implications on health but is easily passed between sexual partners. Reinfection is common, especially if antibiotic treatments are not completed before further sexual contact. The most common symptoms of infection are discharge and painful urination. Trichomoniasis has also been found to be a cofactor for HIV transmission. It is thought that this infection, which causes lesions and inflammation, increases risk of HIV infection upon exposure. It may also be passed from infected mother to child during birth.

Binomial name: Trichomonas vaginalis

Classification: Kingdom: Protista | Phylum: Sarcomastigophora | Subphylum: Mastigophora | Class: Zoomastigophorea | Order: Trichomonadida| Genus: Trichomonas | Species: vaginalis

"trich" or "trick," "TV"

History of Discovery
Little information is reported about the discovery of Trichomonas vaginalis. Between 1934 and 1939, Procaccini, an Italian scientist, followed a group of Italian soldiers serving in the Eastern Italian Army in Ethiopia. In his laboratory, he microscopically examined protozoans and classified them as amoebas. His report later led to the identification of Trichomonas based on morphological characteristics.

Medline data for Trichomoniasis is available beginning in 1966. A published study of T. vaginalis was conducted in Korean military personnel between May 1975 and October 1977.

This site was created for Human Biology 103: Parasites & Pestilence at Stanford University. Last updated 6/1/05.