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Tetratrichomonads from the oral cavity and respiratory tract of humans

  • K. KUTISOVA (a1), J. KULDA (a1), I. CEPICKA (a1), J. FLEGR (a1), B. KOUDELA (a2), J. TERAS (a3) and J. TACHEZY (a1)...

To clarify the taxonomy of trichomonads associated with human respiratory diseases, we examined a collection of axenic trichomonad strains isolated from the oral cavity and bronchi of patients from pulmonary diseases clinics in Tallin, Estonia. The oral and bronchial strains were compared mutually as well as with a reference strain of Trichomonas tenax, a common inhabitant of the human oral cavity, and other trichomonad species from humans and animals. Unexpectedly, the morphological studies, as well as DNA sequencing of ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2 regions revealed that the Estonian strains belong to the genus Tetratrichomonas, with a high similarity to the avian species Tetratrichomonas gallinarum. None of the strains belonged to Trichomonas tenax. DNA fingerprinting using the RAPD method separated Estonian strains into 2 distinct groups: ‘bronchial’ consisting of 5 and 2 strains isolated from bronchi and ‘oral’ cavity, respectively, and oral consisting of 3 oral strains. Consistent differences between ‘bronchial’ and ‘oral’ groups were confirmed by analysis of ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2 sequences. Our results have revealed novel trichomonad species of the human oral cavity and bronchi.

Corresponding author
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Viničná 7, Prague 2, 128 44, Czech Republic. Tel: +420 221651811. Fax: +420 224919704. E-mail:
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