Microsatellite polymorphism in the sexually transmitted human pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis indicates a genetically diverse parasite

Melissa Conrad, Zuzana Zubacova, Linda A. Dunn, Jacqui Upcroft, Steven A. Sullivan, Jan Tachezy, Jane M. Carlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Given the growing appreciation of serious health sequelae from widespread Trichomonas vaginalis infection, new tools are needed to study the parasite's genetic diversity. To this end we have identified and characterized a panel of 21 microsatellites and six single-copy genes from the T. vaginalis genome, using seven laboratory strains of diverse origin. We have (1) adapted our microsatellite typing method to incorporate affordable fluorescent labeling, (2) determined that the microsatellite loci remain stable in parasites continuously cultured for up to 17 months, and (3) evaluated microsatellite marker coverage of the six chromosomes that comprise the T. vaginalis genome, using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). We have used the markers to show that T. vaginalis is a genetically diverse parasite in a population of commonly used laboratory strains. In addition, we have used phylogenetic methods to infer evolutionary relationships from our markers in order to validate their utility in future population analyses. Our panel is the first series of robust polymorphic genetic markers for T. vaginalis that can be used to classify and monitor lab strains, as well as provide a means to measure the genetic diversity and population structure of extant and future T. vaginalis isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Volume175
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • FISH
  • Genetic markers
  • Microsatellite
  • Population genetics
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Trichomonas vaginalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microsatellite polymorphism in the sexually transmitted human pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis indicates a genetically diverse parasite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this