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Characterization of Trichomonas vaginalis haemolysis

  • D. C. Dailey (a1), C. Te-Hung (a1) and J. F. Alderete (a1)


The haemolytic activity of live Trichomonas vaginalis organisms was investigated. Optimal haemolysis of human erythrocytes was observed at a parasite to erythrocyte ratio of 1:5 during a 2 h incubation period. No haemolytic activity was detected in concentrated culture supernatants after overnight growth of trichomonads or when parasites were separated from erythrocytes by a 3 μm filter, suggesting a contact-dependent mechanism for haemolysis. The haemolytic activity was temperature-dependent and maximal haemolysis occurred at 37 °C. Treatment of trichomonads with metronidazole reduced levels of haemolysis by > 50%. Maximal haemolysis occurred at the pH range of the vagina during trichomoniasis. N-μ-tosyl-L-lysyl-chloromethyl ketone and iodoacetamide, inhibitors of trichomonad cysteine proteinases, reduced the haemolytic activity of live parasites.



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