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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48418. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048418. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Endobiont viruses sensed by the human host - beyond conventional antiparasitic therapy.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. rfichorova@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Wide-spread protozoan parasites carry endosymbiotic dsRNA viruses with uncharted implications to the human host. Among them, Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite adapted to the human genitourinary tract, infects globally ∼250 million each year rendering them more susceptible to devastating pregnancy complications (especially preterm birth), HIV infection and HPV-related cancer. While first-line antibiotic treatment (metronidazole) commonly kills the protozoan pathogen, it fails to improve reproductive outcome. We show that endosymbiotic Trichomonasvirus, highly prevalent in T. vaginalis clinical isolates, is sensed by the human epithelial cells via Toll-like receptor 3, triggering Interferon Regulating Factor -3, interferon type I and proinflammatory cascades previously implicated in preterm birth and HIV-1 susceptibility. Metronidazole treatment amplified these proinflammatory responses. Thus, a new paradigm targeting the protozoan viruses along with the protozoan host may prevent trichomoniasis-attributable inflammatory sequelae.

PMID:
23144878
PMCID:
PMC3492353
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0048418
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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