Microscopy and Microanalysis

Feature Articles

Trichomonads under Microscopy

Marlene  Benchimol  a1 c1
a1 Santa Ursula University, Rua Jornalista Orlando Dantas, 59, CEP 222-31-010, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Article author query
benchimol m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Trichomonads are flagellate protists, and among them Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus are the most studied because they are parasites of the urogenital tract of humans and cattle, respectively. Microscopy provides new insights into the cell biology and morphology of these parasites, and thus allows better understanding of the main aspects of their physiology. Here, we review the ultrastructure of T. foetus and T. vaginalis, stressing the participation of the axostyle in the process of cell division and showing that the pseudocyst may be a new form in the trichomonad cell cycle and not simply a degenerative form. Other organelles, such as the Golgi and hydrogenosomes, are also reviewed. The virus present in trichomonads is discussed.

(Received December 27 2002)
(Accepted April 8 2003)

Key Words: trichomonads; Tritrichomonas foetus; Trichomonas vaginalis; ultrastructure; transmission electron microscopy; scanning electron microscopy; immunofluorescence microscopy; closed mitosis; pseudocyst.

c1 E-mail: marleneben@uol.com.br