N-chlorotaurine, a long-lived oxidant produced by human leukocytes, can be applied in human medicine as an endogenous antiseptic. Its antimicrobial activity can be enhanced by ammonium chloride. This study was designed to evaluate the tolerability of inhaled N-chlorotaurine (NCT) in the pig model.
Anesthetized pigs inhaled test solutions of 1% (55 mM) NCT (n = 7), 5% NCT (n = 6), or 1% NCT plus 1% ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) (n = 6), and 0.9% saline solution as a control (n = 7), respectively. Applications with 5 ml each were performed hourly within four hours. Lung function, haemodynamics, and pharmacokinetics were monitored. Bronchial lavage samples for captive bubble surfactometry and lung samples for histology and electron microscopy were removed.
Arterial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) decreased significantly over the observation period of 4 hours in all animals. Compared to saline, 1% NCT + 1% NH4Cl led to significantly lower PaO2 values at the endpoint after 4 hours (62 ± 9.6 mmHg vs. 76 ± 9.2 mmHg, p = 0.014) with a corresponding increase in alveolo-arterial difference of oxygen partial pressure (AaDO2) (p = 0.004). Interestingly, AaDO2 was lowest with 1% NCT, even lower than with saline (p = 0.016). The increase of pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) over the observation period was smallest with 1% NCT without difference to controls (p = 0.91), and higher with 5% NCT (p = 0.02), and NCT + NH4Cl (p = 0.05).
Histological and ultrastructural investigations revealed no differences between the test and control groups. The surfactant function remained intact. There was no systemic resorption of NCT detectable, and its local inactivation took place within 30 min. The concentration of NCT tolerated by A549 lung epithelial cells in vitro was similar to that known from other body cells (0.25–0.5 mM).
The endogenous antiseptic NCT was well tolerated at a concentration of 1% upon inhalation in the pig model. Addition of ammonium chloride in high concentration provokes a statistically significant impact on blood oxygenation.
During oxidative burst, neutrophils selectively generate HOCl to destroy invading microbial pathogens. Excess HOCl reacts with taurine, a semi-essential amino acid, resulting in the formation of the longer-lived biogenerated broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, N-chlorotaurine (NCT). In the presence of an excess of HOCl or under moderately acidic conditions, NCT can be further chlorinated, or it can disproportionate to produce N,N-dichlorotaurine (NNDCT). In the present study, 2,2-dimethyltaurine was used to prepare a more stable N-chlorotaurine, namely, N,N-dichloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine (NVC-422). In addition, we report on the chemical characterization, in vitro antimicrobial properties, and cytotoxicity of this compound. NVC-422 was shown effectively to kill all 17 microbial strains tested, including antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. The minimum bactericidal concentration of NVC-422 against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria ranged from 0.12 to 4 μg/ml. The minimum fungicidal concentrations against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata were 32 and 16 μg/ml, respectively. NVC-422 has an in vitro cytotoxicity (50% cytotoxicity = 1,440 μg/ml) similar to that of NNDCT. Moreover, our data showed that this agent possesses rapid, pH-dependent antimicrobial activity. At pH 4, NVC-422 completely killed both Escherichia coli and S. aureus within 5 min at a concentration of 32 μg/ml. Finally, the effect of NVC-422 in the treatment of an E. coli-infected granulating wound rat model was evaluated. Treatment of the infected granulating wound with NVC-422 resulted in significant reduction of the bacterial tissue burden and faster wound healing compared to a saline-treated control. These findings suggest that NVC-422 could have potential application as a topical antimicrobial.
Metronidazole and related 5-nitroimidazoles are the only available drugs in the treatment of human urogenital trichomoniasis caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The drugs are activated to cytotoxic anion radicals by their reduction within the hydrogenosomes. It has been established that electrons required for metronidazole activation are released from pyruvate by the activity of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase and transferred to the drug by a low-redox-potential carrier, ferredoxin. Here we describe a novel pathway involved in the drug activation within the hydrogenosome. The source of electrons is malate, another major hydrogenosomal substrate, which is oxidatively decarboxylated to pyruvate and CO2 by NAD-dependent malic enzyme. The electrons released during this reaction are transferred from NADH to ferredoxin by NADH dehydrogenase homologous to the catalytic module of mitochondrial complex I, which uses ferredoxin as electron acceptor. Trichomonads acquire high-level metronidazole resistance only after both pyruvate- and malate-dependent pathways of metronidazole activation are eliminated from the hydrogenosomes.
Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus cause common sexually transmitted infections in humans and cattle, respectively. Mouse models of trichomoniasis are important for pathogenic and therapeutic studies. Here, we compared murine genital infections with T. vaginalis and T. foetus. Persistent vaginal infection with T. foetus was established with 100 parasites but T. vaginalis infection required doses of 106, perhaps because of greater susceptibility to killing by mouse vaginal polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Infection with T. vaginalis persisted longest after combined treatment of mice with estrogen and dexamethasone, whereas infection was only short-lived when mice were given estrogen or dexamethasone alone, co-infected with Lactobacillus acidophilus, and/or pretreated with antibiotics. Infection rates were similar with metronidazole-resistant (MR) and metronidazole-sensitive (MS) T. vaginalis. High dose but not low dose metronidazole treatment controlled infection with MS better than MR T. vaginalis. These murine models will be valuable for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of trichomoniasis.
In isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis with reduced susceptibility metronidazole, flavin reductase and alcohol dehydrogenase-1 (ADH1) activities are down-regulated.
► In clinical isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis with reduced metronidazole susceptibility flavin reductase is down-regulated. ► In clinical isolates of T. vaginalis with reduced metronidazole susceptibility alcohol dehydrogenase-1 (ADH1) is down-regulated. ► Thioredoxin reductase levels are not changed in metronidazole-resistant T. vaginalis clinical isolates.
The microaerophilic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is a causative agent of painful vaginitis or urethritis, termed trichomoniasis, and can also cause preterm delivery or stillbirth. Treatment of trichomoniasis is almost exclusively based on the nitroimidazole drugs metronidazole and tinidazole. Metronidazole resistance in T. vaginalis does occur and is often associated with treatment failure. In most cases, metronidazole-resistant isolates remain susceptible to tinidazole, but cross resistance between the two closely related drugs can be a problem.
In this study we measured activities of thioredoxin reductase and flavin reductase in four metronidazole-susceptible and five metronidazole-resistant isolates. These enzyme activities had been previously found to be downregulated in T. vaginalis with high-level metronidazole resistance induced in the laboratory. Further, we aimed at identifying factors causing metronidazole resistance and compared the protein expression profiles of all nine isolates by application of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE).
Thioredoxin reductase activity was nearly equal in all strains assayed but flavin reductase activity was clearly down-regulated, or even absent, in metronidazole-resistant strains. Since flavin reductase has been shown to reduce oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, its down-regulation could significantly contribute to the impairment of oxygen scavenging as reported by others for metronidazole-resistant strains. Analysis by 2DE revealed down-regulation of alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (ADH1) in strains with reduced sensitivity to metronidazole, an enzyme that could be involved in detoxification of intracellular acetaldehyde.
Trichomonosis; Metronidazole resistance; Thiordoxin reductase; Flavin reductase; Alcohol dehydrogenase 1
The pharmacodynamic effects of metronidazole on Trichomonas vaginalis have been poorly characterized. The present in vitro study was performed to characterize the relationship between killing of trichomonads and metronidazole exposure (metronidazole concentration and time of exposure). Five laboratory strains and five recent clinical isolates of T. vaginalis were studied. The minimum lethal concentrations (MLCs) of metronidazole for the strains ranged from 0.8 to 25 micrograms/ml under anaerobic conditions. Metronidazole exhibited concentration-dependent killing against T. vaginalis at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to > 10 times the MLC. The endpoint measurement, the kill rate constant, which was derived from the reduction in the logarithm of the colony count divided by exposure time, compared with the kill rate constant for the growth control was not affected by the time of assessment between 2 and 24 h. The kill rate constant-versus-metronidazole exposure curves were similar when concentration was expressed as a multiple of the MLC. There were no apparent differences between the clinical isolates and laboratory strains. These data suggest that peak metronidazole concentration and/or area under the plasma concentration-versus-time curve are the important pharmacodynamic parameters to be optimized.
Infections with the sexually transmitted protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis are usually treated with metronidazole, a 5-nitroimidazole drug derived from the antibiotic azomycin. Metronidazole treatment is generally efficient in eliminating T. vaginalis infection and has a low risk of serious side effects. However, studies have shown that at least 5% of clinical cases of trichomoniasis are caused by parasites resistant to the drug. The lack of approved alternative therapies for T. vaginalis treatment means that higher and sometimes toxic doses of metronidazole are the only option for patients with resistant disease. Clearly, studies of the treatment and prevention of refractory trichomoniasis are essential. This review describes the mechanisms of metronidazole resistance in T. vaginalis and provides a summary of trichomonicidal and vaccine candidate drugs.
Metronidazole, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug against trichomoniasis, is nonspermicidal and thus cannot offer pregnancy protection when used vaginally. Furthermore, increasing resistance of Trichomonas vaginalis to 5-nitro-imidazoles is a cause for serious concern. On the other hand, the vaginal spermicide nonoxynol-9 (N-9) does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV in clinical situations but may in fact increase their incidence due to its nonspecific, surfactant action. We therefore designed dually active, nonsurfactant molecules that were capable of killing Trichomonas vaginalis (both metronidazole-susceptible and -resistant strains) and irreversibly inactivating 100% human sperm at doses that were noncytotoxic to human cervical epithelial (HeLa) cells and vaginal microflora (lactobacilli) in vitro. Anaerobic energy metabolism, cell motility, and defense against reactive oxygen species, which are key to survival of both sperm and Trichomonas in the host after intravaginal inoculation, depend crucially on availability of free thiols. Consequently, molecules were designed with carbodithioic acid moiety as the major pharmacophore, and chemical variations were incorporated to provide high excess of reactive thiols for interacting with accessible thiols on sperm and Trichomonas. We report here the in vitro activities, structure-activity relationships, and safety profiles of these spermicidal antitrichomonas agents, the most promising of which was more effective than N-9 (the OTC spermicide) in inactivating human sperm and more efficacious than metronidazole in killing Trichomonas vaginalis (including metronidazole-resistant strain). It also significantly reduced the available free thiols on human sperm and inhibited the cytoadherence of Trichomonas on HeLa cells. Experimentally in vitro, the new compounds appeared to be safer than N-9 for vaginal use.
Acanthamoeba spp. are the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), which mainly occurs in contact lens wearers, and of skin lesions, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), and disseminating diseases in the immunocompromised host. AK therapy is complex and irritating for the eye, skin lesions are difficult to treat, and there is no effective treatment for GAE. Therefore, new anti-Acanthamoeba drugs are needed. We investigated the anti-Acanthamoeba activity of N-chlorotaurine (NCT), an endogenous mild antiseptic. It was shown that NCT has amoebicidal qualities, both in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in amoebic culture medium. After 6 h of treatment with 10 mM NCT in PBS, the levels of trophozoites of all strains investigated already showed at least a 2-log reduction. When the trophozoites were treated with 20 mM NCT in culture medium, they showed a 2-log reduction after 24 h. The addition of NH4Cl to NCT led to a faster decrease in the numbers of living cells, if tests were carried out in PBS. A delay of excystation was observed when cysts were treated with 55 mM (1%) NCT in culture medium. A complete failure of excystment was the result of treatment with 1% NCT plus 1% NH4Cl in PBS. Altogether, NCT clearly demonstrated amoebicidal activity at concentrations well tolerated by human tissues and might be useful as a topical drug for the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. The addition of ammonium chloride can be considered to enhance the activity.
Bithionol, dichlorophene, and hexachlorophene, which are used in treating some helminthic infections, killed trophozoites of Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis in modified BI-S-33 and Asami media, respectively. Virtually all G. lamblia and T. vaginalis cells were killed within 24 h with a 0.42 mM concentration of these compounds, except that 0.93 mM dichlorophene was required for sterilizing T. vaginalis in the same period. In modified BI-S-33 and Asami media from which bovine and human sera were omitted, respectively, the inhibitory actions of the compounds against in vitro growth of these protozoa were significantly enhanced. Trophozoites of G. lamblia and T. vaginalis could be killed in shorter than 10 min with 0.074 mM dichlorophene and 0.0025 mM hexachlorophene, respectively, in serum-free media. G. lamblia, which was incubated in the complete medium containing dichlorophene, showed a characteristic swelling of the ventral side which led to disruption of the parasite, whereas bithionol caused a thin crack in the cytoplasm of T. vaginalis incubated in Asami medium. The crack appeared to enlarge and result in vacuolization of T. vaginalis. These observations suggest that bithionol, dichlorophene, and hexachlorophene merit further evaluation to ascertain whether they are useful for treatment of giardiasis and trichomoniasis.
The aim of this study was to determine the potential application of N-chlorotaurine (NCT), N,N-dichloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine (NVC-422), and N-monochloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine (NVC-612) as catheter lock solutions for the prevention of catheter blockage and catheter-related bloodstream infections by testing their anticoagulant and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities in human blood. NCT, NVC-422, NVC-612, and control compounds were serially diluted in fresh human blood to evaluate the effects on prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, fibrinogen, and direct thrombin inhibition. Quantitative killing assays against pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans, were performed in the presence of heparin and human blood. NCT and NVC-612 (1.38 mM each) and 1.02 mM NVC-422 prolonged prothrombin time (Quick value, 17 to 30%), activated partial thromboplastin time 3- to 4-fold to 76 to 125 s, and thrombin time 2- to 4-fold to 34 to 68 s. Fibrinogen decreased from 258 to 283 mg/dl (range of controls) to <40 mg/dl. No direct thrombin inhibition was observed by NVC-422 or NVC-612. Heparin did not influence the bactericidal activity of NCT. The microbicidal activities of NCT, NVC-422, and NVC-612 were maintained in diluted human blood. NCT, NVC-612, and NVC-422 have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in blood and anticoagulant activity targeting both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of the coagulation system. These properties support their application as catheter lock solutions.
Neutrophils are the predominant inflammatory cells found in the vaginal discharges of patients infected with Trichomonas vaginalis. Although chemoattractants, such as leukotriene B4 and interleukin-8 (IL-8), are found in the vaginal discharges of symptomatic trichomoniasis patients, little is known about the mechanism of how neutrophils accumulate or mediate initial inflammatory response after acute T. vaginalis infection. We examined IL-8 production in neutrophils activated by T. vaginalis and evaluated the factors involved in T. vaginalis adherence that might affect IL-8 production. When human neutrophils were stimulated with live trophozoites, T. vaginalis lysate, or T. vaginalis excretory-secretory products, the live trichomonads induced higher levels of IL-8 production than the lysate or products did. When live trichomonads were pretreated with various inhibitors of proteinase, microtubule, microfilament, or adhesin (which are all known to participate in the adherence of T. vaginalis to vaginal epithelial cells), IL-8 production significantly decreased compared with the untreated controls. Furthermore, an NF-κB inhibitor (pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate), a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (MEK) inhibitor (PD98059), and a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor (SB203580) significantly suppressed IL-8 synthesis in neutrophils. These results suggest that live T. vaginalis, particularly adherent trophozoites, can induce IL-8 production in neutrophils and that this action may be mediated through the NF-κB and MAP kinase signaling pathways. In other words, T. vaginalis-induced neutrophil recruitment may be mediated via the IL-8 expressed by neutrophils in response to activation by live T. vaginalis.
The efficacies of 12 5-nitroimidazole compounds and 1 previously described lactam-substituted nitroimidazole with antiparasitic activity, synthesized via SRN1 and subsequent reactions, were assayed against the protozoan parasites Giardia duodenalis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Entamoeba histolytica. Two metronidazole-sensitive lines and two metronidazole-resistant lines of Giardia and one line each of metronidazole-sensitive and -resistant Trichomonas were tested. All except one of the compounds were as effective or more effective than metronidazole against Giardia and Trichomonas, but none was as effective overall as the previously described 2-lactam-substituted 5-nitroimidazole. None of the compounds was markedly more effective than metronidazole against Entamoeba. Significant cross-resistance between most of the drugs tested and metronidazole was evident among metronidazole-resistant lines of Giardia and Trichomonas. However, some drugs were lethal to metronidazole-resistant Giardia and had minimum lethal concentrations similar to that of metronidazole for drug-susceptible parasites. This study emphasizes the potential in developing new nitroimidazole drugs which are more effective than metronidazole and which may prove to be useful clinical alternatives to metronidazole.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasitic protozoan, is the etiologic agent of trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) of worldwide importance. Trichomoniasis is the most common nonviral STD, and it is associated with many perinatal complications, male and female genitourinary tract infections, and an increased incidence of HIV transmission. Diagnosis is difficult, since the symptoms of trichomoniasis mimic those of other STDs and detection methods lack precision. Although current treatment protocols involving nitroimidazoles are curative, metronidazole resistance is on the rise, outlining the need for research into alternative antibiotics. Vaccine development has been limited by a lack of understanding of the role of the host immune response to T. vaginalis infection. The lack of a good animal model has made it difficult to conduct standardized studies in drug and vaccine development and pathogenesis. Current work on pathogenesis has focused on the host-parasite relationship, in particular the initial events required to establish infection. These studies have illustrated that the pathogenesis of T. vaginalis is indeed very complex and involves adhesion, hemolysis, and soluble factors such as cysteine proteinases and cell-detaching factor. T. vaginalis interaction with the members of the resident vaginal flora, an advanced immune evasion strategy, and certain stress responses enable the organism to survive in its changing environment. Clearly, further research and collaboration will help elucidate these pathogenic mechanisms, and with better knowledge will come improved disease control.
In vitro cultured monolayers of normal human vaginal epithelial cells were incubated with axenic cultures of Trichomonas vaginalis. Two strains freshly isolated from patients with trichomoniasis and one strain that had been maintained in axenic culture for several years were studied. Freshly isolated trichomonads showed amoeboid movements, adherence to epithelial cell surfaces, and were cytotoxic to epithelial cells in vitro. In contrast, the laboratory strain maintained for years in axenic culture did not adhere to the epithelial cell monolayer and was only cytotoxic at a concentration 100 times that of freshly isolated trichomonads. Electron microscopy of monolayers exposed to T vaginalis for 24 hours showed that all epithelial cells in intimate contact with trichomonads had more or less disintegrated, whereas in monolayers exposed for six hours some of the epithelial cells in contact with T vaginalis were normal. T vaginalis organisms with amoeboid morphology contained a dense network of microfilaments in the part of the trichomonad that was in contact with an epithelial cell. Occasionally a pseudopodium was projected into the cytoplasm of disintegrated epithelial cells.
Proliferative responses to mitogens were determined by using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from women with active trichomoniasis, with serological evidence of past infection with Trichomonas vaginalis, and with no evidence of current or past infection. Even after the human immunodeficiency virus antibody status of the patients was taken into account, cells from women with active trichomoniasis showed reduced responses to phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A, pokeweed mitogen, and bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Similar findings were obtained by using spleen cells from mice inoculated subcutaneously with live trichomonads. Reduction in proliferative responses by these cells could be detected 3 days after inoculation. There was some evidence to suggest that more-pathogenic strains of the parasite induced a greater degree of immunosuppression. The responses of spleen cells from mice inoculated with trichomonad-free culture supernatants were within normal limits, indicating that live trichomonads were needed to induce suppression. Support for this was gained from studies with cells from women who were treated successfully. Cells from these women rapidly regained normal lymphoproliferative function. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by spleen cells from infected mice was determined from measurements of mitochondrial activity in an IL-2-dependent T-cell line following incubation with stimulated spleen cell culture supernatants. These tests demonstrated lower IL-2 activity in supernatants from cell cultures from infected mice than in those from uninfected mice. The reduction in IL-2 activity did not, however, appear to correlate with the degree of reduction of mitogen-induced lymphoproliferation. Suppression of T-cell-mediated immunity may be one of the mechanisms by which T. vaginalis is able to evade host responses to infection.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted protozoan parasite. Although often considered simply a nuisance infection, T. vaginalis has been implicated in premature rupture of placental membranes and increases in the risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus. Metronidazole, a 5-nitroimidazole, is currently the drug of choice to treat T. vaginalis infection. Because some patients have severe reactions to metronidazole and others are infected with metronidazole-resistant T. vaginalis, we were prompted to investigate alternative therapies. Tinidazole, another 5-nitroimidazole used in other countries to treat T. vaginalis infections, and furazolidone, a nitrofuran presently used to treat giardiasis and infections with some anaerobic enteric bacteria, were investigated for effectiveness against 9 metronidazole-susceptible and 12 metronidazole-resistant T. vaginalis patient isolates. The in vitro aerobic and anaerobic minimum lethal concentrations (MLC) and the time for drug efficacy were determined. Tinidazole killed the metronidazole-susceptible isolates at a low MLC but was effective against only 4 of the 12 metronidazole-resistant isolates. In contrast, furazolidone was effective at a low MLC for all isolates. When tinidazole was effective, it required > 6 h to kill trichomonads. However, furazolidone killed both metronidazole-susceptible and resistant trichomonads within 2 to 3 h of exposure. These data suggest that furazolidone may be a good candidate for treating metronidazole-resistant trichomoniasis and that further investigation of this drug is warranted.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite which causes vaginitis in women worldwide. Metronidazole with vast side effects is drug of choice for this infection. In search for an alternative drug, in this study the effect of three plants on Trichomonas vaginalis has been investigated in vitro.
Materials and Methods:
Alcoholic and watery extracts of Echinophora platyloba, Stachys lavandulifolia, and Eucalyptus camaldulensis were prepared. In TYIS culture medium containing alive Trichomonas vaginalis different concentrations of extracts of three plants were added. Following, 24, 48, and 72 h incubation the number of parasite in each test tube was counted.
Eucalyptus camaldulensis showed a strong effect on Trichomonas vaginalis growth. However, no significant effect was observed with Echinophora platyloba or Stachys lavandulifolia extracts.
Eucalyptus camaldulensis can be considered as an alternative drug for treatment of infective vaginitis which is caused by bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Echinophora platyloba; Eucalyptus camaldulensis; plants; Stachys lavandulifolia; Trichomonas vaginalis
The ability of complement in human menstrual blood and cervical mucus to kill Trichomonas vaginalis was compared with that of complement in serum, and 95 fresh trichomonal isolates obtained from vaginal wash material were evaluated for susceptibility to complement immediately after isolation. Only serum and menstrual blood with haemolytic activity produced total cytolysis of T vaginalis. The cytolytic abilities of these fluids were totally inactivated by treatment with heat or edetic acid (EDTA), which confirms the role of complement in cytolysis. Most cervical mucus samples had no detectable trichomonal cytotoxic properties. The cytotoxic activity in the remaining samples was not due to complement, as it was heat stable. Fresh isolates of T vaginalis and subpopulations of fresh isolates differed in their susceptibility or resistance to complement mediated lysis in serum. Resistance to complement did not remain stable after trichomonads were grown in vitro.
[14C]metronidazole used at the chemotherapeutic concentration of 10 μg/ml is taken up rapidly by the anaerobic protozoa Tritrichomonas foetus, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Entamoeba invadens kept under anaerobic conditions. It can be calculated that within 30 to 60 min the intracellular concentration of the label is 50 to 100 times higher than in the medium. The presence of air markedly suppresses the uptake in the trichomonads and abolishes it in E. invadens. The suppression disappears after anaerobic conditions are established. The rate of uptake in T. foetus is dependent on the concentration of the drug in the range studied (1 to 200 μg/ml). Analysis of double reciprocal plots suggests that the drug enters the cells predominantly or exclusively by diffusion. The major factor driving the uptake is most likely the intracellular biotransformation of the compound. If less than 3 μg of drug per mg of protein is taken up by T. foetus no decrease in viability is observed. Above this level the cytotoxic activity corresponds roughly to the amount accumulated in the cell, irrespective of whether the conditions are anaerobic or aerobic.
Vaginal trichomoniasis, caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, is the most common sexually transmitted disease. More than 170 million people worldwide are annually infected by this protozoan. In the Republic of Korea, 10.4% of women complaining of vaginal symptoms and signs were found to be infected with T. vaginalis. However, despite its high prevalence, the pathogenesis of T. vaginalis infection has not been clearly characterized although neutrophil infiltration is considered to be primarily responsible for the cytologic changes associated with this infection. We hypothesized that trichomonads in the vagina sometime after an acute infection secrete proteins like excretory-secretory product that have a chemotactic effect on neutrophils, and that these neutrophils are further stimulated by T. vaginalis to produce chemokines like IL-8 and GRO-α, which further promote neutrophil recruitment and chemotaxis. Thus, neutrophil accumulation is believed to maintain or aggravate inflammation. However, enhanced neutrophil apoptosis induced by live T. vaginalis could contribute to resolution of inflammation. Macrophages may constitute an important component of host defense against T. vaginalis infection. For example, mouse macrophages alone and those activated by lymphokines or nitric oxide are known to be involved in the extracellular killing of T. vaginalis. In the host, T. vaginalis uses a capping phenomenon to cleave host immunoglobulins with proteinases and thus escape from host immune responses. Recently, we developed a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique using primers based on a repetitive sequence cloned from T. vaginalis (TV-E650), and found that the method enables the detection of T. vaginalis at concentrations as low as 1 cell per PCR mixture.
Trichomonas vaginalis; trichomoniasis; pathogenesis; PCR; neutrophil; macrophage
Trichomonas vaginalis organisms were mixed with suspensions of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma hominis or Chlamydia trachomatis to allow ingestion of these micro-organisms by the trichomonads. Culture studies indicated that gonococci and mycoplasmas were ingested and that the number of intracellular viable organisms decreased rapidly, most gonococci being killed within six hours and all mycoplasmas within three hours. Electron microscopy revealed phagocytic uptake and destruction of these two micro-organisms within the trichomonads, gonococcal degradation being associated with lysosomal enzyme activity. There was no evidence from cultural or electron microscopy studies that C trachomatis organisms persisted in mixed culture with T vaginalis.
A strain of Trichomonas vaginalis (IR-78), recently isolated from a patient afflicted with recurrent symptomatic trichomoniasis, showed resistance to metronidazole, tinidazole, and nimorazole in vitro as well as in vivo. In a serial dilution test using cysteine monohydrochloride–peptone–liver infusion–maltose medium, T. vaginalis IR-78 was only resistant under aerobic conditions. Under anaerobic conditions it was as susceptible as the normal reference strain. The minimal lethal concentrations of metronidazole, tinidazole, and nimorazole for IR-78 were 100, 50, and 50 μg/ml aerobically and 0.4, 0.4, and 0.2 μg/ml anaérobically, respectively. The efficacy of metronidazole, tinidazole, and nimorazole was assessed in vivo by oral administration to mice simultaneously infected with IR-78 both subcutaneously and intraperitoneally. The CD50 (dose needed to cure 50% of infections) of each compound was significantly higher for the subcutaneous than for the intraperitoneal infection. In contrast, there was little difference in CD50 for these infections in mice inoculated with a susceptible trichomonas strain. The CD50's for all three compounds against intraperitoneal and subcutaneous infections with IR-78 were 2 to >70 times higher than for susceptible strain E. Both forms of infection with IR-78 could always be cured with therapeutically acceptable doses of tinidazole and nimorazole; subcutaneous infections could not be cured with tolerated doses of metronidazole.
Trichomonas vaginalis produces soluble factors that have been reported to have the ability to damage target cells in vitro, and it has been hypothesized that these factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of human trichomoniasis. A lytic factor (LF) was purified from T. vaginalis, and the molecular characteristics of LF were determined. T. vaginalis extract was subjected to hydrophobic chromatography with a 10 to 60% N-propanol gradient in 0.1 M ammonium acetate, resulting in the elution of LF from the column at 30% N-propanol. Cytotoxicity assays revealed that LF was cytotoxic to WEHI 164 cells and bovine red blood cells, and inactivation of LF by treatment with trypsin suggested that the active component of LF was a protein. Size exclusion chromatography of LF produced two fractions at 144 and 168 kDa, and analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of LF under reducing conditions revealed two subunits of 57 and 60 kDa. Results of a fluorescence assay of LF on carboxyfluorescein-labeled liposomes composed of phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol showed that liposomes were hydrolyzed, suggesting that LF had phospholipase activity. Thin-layer chromatography analysis of BODIPY (4,4-difluoro-3a,4adiaza-s-indacene)-labeled phosphatidylcholine treated with LF demonstrated products that migrated identically to the products produced by treatment with phospholipase A2 (PLA2). These results suggest that LF is a PLA2 and may be an important virulence factor of T. vaginalis mediating the destruction of host cells and contributing to tissue damage and inflammation in trichomoniasis.
The emergence of metronidazole-resistant Trichomonas vaginalis and questions about the safety of metronidazole are significant concerns in treatment of trichomoniasis. At 24 h, a microtiter assay was used to test antimicrobial susceptibility of 16 recent isolates; the MICs of metronidazole ranged from less than 0.06 to 25 micrograms/ml. Observable motility as an endpoint correlated imperfectly with survival as measured in pour plates. Quantitative pour plate cultures of six T. vaginalis isolates after timed exposures to antimicrobial drugs demonstrated exquisite sensitivity to metronidazole with minimal trichomonacidal concentrations of 0.025 to 0.100 micrograms/ml. Killing of some T. vaginalis isolates by clotrimazole and rosoxacin occurred only at concentrations of 100 micrograms/ml. Resistance to both rosoxacin and clotrimazole correlated with increasing resistance to metronidazole (P less than 0.01).