Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Lehker

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Kline

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Gilkerson


The adherence of Trichomonas vaginalis to the human urogenital tract is a prerequisite for the pathogenesis of the infection. This multifactorial process is modulated by environmental factors such as iron, estrogen, temperature and pH and specific receptor/ligand interactions. During natural infections, the anaerobe T. vaginalis is exposed to oxygen resulting in oxidative stress. This environmental change may alter trichomonad cytoadherence to the ectocervical tissue. Therefore, it was hypothesized that changes in the redox status of T. vaginalis may modulate cytoadherence levels. Results showed that oxidative stress reduces levels of trichomonad cytoadherence to HeLa cells by > 50% when exposed to 150 µM H2O2. Furthermore, oxidative stress decreased with exposure to antioxidants NAC and DTT consequently increasing cytoadherence by 12% when exposed to 1mM NAC. The results suggest that an optimal redox homeostasis may be critical in the receptor/ligand interaction of T. vaginalis with human host tissue. The present data also indicates the therapeutic potential of agents that target the antioxidant systems of trichomonads.


Copyright 2018 Magali Ayala. All Rights Reserved.

Included in

Biology Commons