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Description of Trichomonas

Polymorphic flagellates (4.5-30µm) with four free anterior flagella and one recurrent flagellum associated with an undulating membrane shorter than the body; no free posterior recurrent flagellum. Costa relatively slender, capitulum of the axostyle spatulate, trunk of the axostyle slender; parabasal body rod- or V-shaped, with one or several long parabasal filaments. Amoeboid and polymastigote forms present in natural or culture conditions. Electron microscopic studies have shown the trichomonad characters, the lamellar-type of the UM and the B-type pattern of the costa, microfibrillar structure of phagocytotic areas and division. Three species described: T. vaginalis inhabits the urogenital tract of humans, causing venereal diseases (Wenrich, 1944a; Honigberg and Brugerolle, 1990); T. tenax lives in the mouth of humans (Wenrich, 1944b; Honigberg and Lee, 1959); T. gallinae is pathogenic in pigeons and other birds, invading the cecum and liver (Stabler, 1947; Honigberg, 1978). Diagnosis by Honigberg (1963). Scanning electron micro-scopy in Warton and Honigberg (1979). Ultrastructural studies of T. vaginalis in Nielsen et al. (1966), Nielsen (1972), Brugerolle et al. (1974), and Brugerolle (1975, 1975-76); T. tenax in Honigberg and Brugerolle (1990); T. gallinae in Mattern et al. (1967) and Honigberg (1978). Type species: Trichomonas vaginalis DonnÚ, 1836, emend. Ehrenberg.

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