What is the pathogenesis of trichomoniasis?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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T vaginalis destroys epithelial cells by direct cell contact and by the release of cytotoxic substances. It also binds to host plasma proteins, thereby preventing recognition of the parasite by the alternative complement pathway and host proteinases. [1] During infection, the vaginal pH increases, as does the number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). PMNs are the predominant host defense mechanism against T vaginalis and respond to chemotactic substances released by trichomonads. [1] The presence of antigen-specific peripheral blood mononuclear cells may also suggest that lymphocyte priming occurs during infection. [16] Antibody response to T vaginalis infection has been detected both locally and in serum.

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