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Description of Tritrichomonas

Small flagellates (8-22 µm) with three free anterior flagella and a recurrent one forming a well-developed undulating membrane (UM); recurrent flagellum free posteriorly. Costa slender or stout; axostyle well developed, protruding at the rear, but tapering abruptly. Periaxostylar rings near the extremity of the axostyle in some species. Rod or sausage-shaped parabasal apparatus. Electron microscopy has shown the trichomonad features. There is an infrakinetosomal body. The UM is of the rail-type, and the recurrent flagellum is modified by paraaxonemal fibres. In different species there are variations in the UM. The cell body part of the UM is always linked by microfibrils to the supporting costa, which has the A-type pattern. The 20 described species live in the intestinal tract of rodents, e.g., T. muris (Wenrich, 1921, Nie, 1950, Gabel, 1954); the intestine of swine; e.g., T. suis (Hibber et al. 1960); in the intestine of birds e.g., T. eberthi µmcDowell, 1953); in the intestine of reptiles and amphibia; e.g., T. augusta (Buttrey, 1954); in the genital tract of bovines where T. foetus causes serious outbreaks and abortion in cows (Wenrich and Emerson, 1933; Kirby, 1951); or in squirrel monkeys e.g., T. mobilensis (Culberson et al., 1986). Ultrastructural studies by Daniel et al. (1971), Honigberg et al. (1971), Brugerolle (1975-76), Brugerolle (1981), and Honigberg and Brugerolle (1990). Type species: Tritrichomonas augusta (Alexeieff, 1911).

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