By Charles Q. Scientists investigated the sexually transmitted disease trichomoniasiswhich is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, a type of microbe known as a protozoan.
Rather than invade human cells, the parasite latches onto their surfaces and feeds on them. Trichomoniasis is more common than all bacterial sexually transmitted diseases combined, annually affecting nearly million men and women worldwide.
People infected with the parasite become especially vulnerable to other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, which causes AIDS, and HPV, which is linked with cervical and prostate cancers.
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In addition, complications from trichomoniasis include miscarriage, preterm delivery, low birth weight and infertility. Parasite-virus duo Intriguingly, more than 80 percent of these parasites are themselves infected, with a virus simply dubbed Trichomonasvirus.
To learn more, the researchers collected Trichomonas from infected women and tested how both virus-infected and virus-free versions of the parasite affected human cells grown in lab dishes.
Currently, trichomoniasis is most often treated with the antibiotic metronidazole. However, when researchers killed virus-infected Trichomonas with this drug, they found the dying or injured parasites released viruses that inflamed the human cells.
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The virus does acute prostatitis treatment uptodate infect the human cells, but it nevertheless aggravates the harmful effects of the parasite. These findings may explain why metronidazole does not prevent the acute prostatitis treatment uptodate effects trichomoniasis can have on women's reproductionand may actually make things worse — it forces the parasite to release harmful viruses.
Making the body more vulnerable The inflammation also might help explain why the parasite makes people more vulnerable to other sexually transmitted diseases STDs. Scientists aren't sure whether the virus actually helps the parasite in some way.
Future research should explore what part of the virus' structure or life cycle may be most vulnerable to drugs, Fichorova added. Charles Q. Choi Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.
ABHD4-dependent developmental anoikis safeguards the embryonic brain
He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica.
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Neonatal brain damage Abstract A specialized neurogenic niche along the ventricles accumulates millions of progenitor cells in the developing brain. After mitosis, fate-committed daughter cells delaminate from this germinative zone.
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