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Volume 50, Number 5, October 2017

Detection and molecular characterization of double-stranded RNA viruses in Philippine Trichomonas vaginalis isolates 

Windell L. Rivera, Christine Aubrey C. Justo, Mary Ann Cielo V. Relucio-San Diego, Lorenz M. Loyola


Corresponding author:

Windell L. Rivera, Institute of Biology, College of Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101, Philippines
Molecular Protozoology Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101, Philippines


Background and purpose: 

The flagellated protozoon Trichomonas vaginalis that parasitizes the urogenital tract of humans was reported to harbor double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses. These viruses, identified as Trichomonas vaginalis virus (TVV), belong to the genus Trichomonasvirus of the family Totiviridae. Four species, formally recognized by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), have been reported and distinguished by pairwise comparisons of the sequences of genes coding for major capsid protein (CP) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). 



Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to amplify the complimentary DNA of target virus genes coding for CP and RdRp. Sequence analyses confirmed the identity of the TVV isolates from T. vaginalis cultures. 



A total of 35 dsRNA viruses were identified from 18 (19%) T. vaginalis isolates. Multiple TVV species were observed in six of the 18 T. vaginalis cultures. Phylogenetic analyses show monophyly in TVV1 and TVV2 whereas TVV3 and TVV4 appear paraphyletic. The phylogeny of Philippine Trichomonasvirus reflects the global distribution of its host. 



This is the first study in the Philippines and one of the two reports worldwide to detect the four TVVs and their concurrent infection in a single T. vaginalis isolate. 


Key words:

Female sex worker (FSW), Philippines, Trichomonas vaginalis virus/Trichomonasvirus