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Heath, J. P
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
J. P. HEATH: A light and electron microscopical study of \ud the \ud mechanisms \ud of pathogenicity of Trichomonas vaginalis, in \ud epithelial \ud cell cultures. \ud T. vaginalis is a urogenital protozoan \ud parasite of \ud man, \ud causing \ud the disease known as trichomoniasis. In \ud males \ud the \ud disease is \ud often \ud symptomless; in females acute \ud infections \ud are \ud often \ud associated \ud with \ud inflammation of the cervical and \ud vaginal \ud walls, \ud superficial \ud erosions \ud of the vaginal epithelium and \ud a \ud heavy, \ud purulent \ud vaginal \ud discharge. \ud In this study I have used an \ud in \ud vitro \ud model \ud of \ud trichomoniasis in \ud order to elucidate some of \ud the \ud mechanisms \ud of \ud pathogenicity \ud of \ud the \ud parasite. The behaviour and cytopathogenicity \ud of \ud T. \ud vaginalis \ud in \ud epithelial cell cultures was \ud examined \ud using \ud phase \ud contrast \ud and \ud interference reflection light microscopy, and \ud scanning \ud and \ud transmission \ud electron microscopy. \ud The trichomonads attack \ud the \ud epithelial \ud cell \ud monolayers \ud causing \ud pathological changes within \ud the \ud cells \ud which \ud lead to the \ud detachment \ud and \ud lysis of the cells. The lysed cell \ud debris is \ud phagocytosed \ud by the \ud trichomonads. Two aspects of \ud the behaviour \ud of \ud T. \ud vaginalis \ud are \ud of \ud prime importance in the pathogenic processes \ud that lead to the \ud death \ud of \ud the cell cultures: \ud 1) T. vaginalis readily adheres \ud to the \ud exposed \ud surfaces \ud of \ud the \ud epithelial cells and to the glass \ud substratum \ud on \ud which \ud the \ud cells \ud are \ud grown. The adhesions are of \ud the intermediate junction type, \ud characterised by a gap of 10 - 20 nm. \ud Damage to the \ud monolayer \ud of \ud epithelial \ud cells is restricted to those cells \ud with adherent \ud trichomonads. \ud 2) When T. vaginalis adheres \ud to \ud a \ud solid \ud substratum \ud it loses its \ud characteristic spherical shape \ud which \ud is \ud assumed \ud in \ud suspension \ud and \ud it \ud develops pseudopodia which it uses \ud to locomote in \ud an \ud amoeboid \ud manner. \ud The amoeboid trichomonads are capable \ud of \ud migrating \ud between \ud and \ud under \ud the monolayer mechanically breaking the \ud adhesions \ud of \ud the \ud cells \ud to \ud each \ud other and to the substratum. \ud The \ud pseudopodia, \ud and \ud regions \ud of active \ud phagocytosis, of T. vaginalis \ud contain actin-like \ud microfilaments. \ud Mechanisms that may be involved in the \ud adhesiveness \ud and \ud amoeboid \ud movements of T. vaginalis are \ud discussed, \ud and \ud the \ud possible \ud relevance \ud of \ud these phenomena and of chemical \ud factors to the \ud cytopathogenicity \ud of \ud T. \ud vaginalis in cell cultures and \ud in humans is \ud considered.

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