Trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection worldwide, is caused by the protozoon Trichomonas vaginalis. The 5- nitroimidazole drugs, of which metronidazole is the most prescribed, are the only effective drugs to treat trichomoniasis. Resistance against metronidazole is increasingly reported among T. vaginalis isolates. T. vaginalis can establish an endosymbiosis with two Mycoplasma species, Mycoplasma hominis and Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii, whose presence has been demonstrated to influence several aspects of the protozoan pathobiology. The role of M. hominis in T. vaginalis resistance to metronidazole is controversial, while the influence of Ca. M. girerdii has never been investigated. In this work, we investigate the possible correlation between the presence of Ca. M. girerdii and/or M. hominis and the in vitro drug susceptibility in a large group of T. vaginalis isolated in Italy and in Vietnam. We also evaluated, via RNA-seq analysis, the expression of protozoan genes involved in metronidazole resistance in a set of syngenic T. vaginalis strains, differing only for the presence/absence of the two Mycoplasmas. Our results show that the presence of M. hominis significantly increases the sensitivity to metronidazole in T. vaginalis and affects gene expression. On the contrary, the symbiosis with Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii seems to have no effect on metronidazole resistance in T. vaginalis.
Effect of the Symbiosis with Mycoplasma hominis and Candidatus Mycoplasma Girerdii on Trichomonas vaginalis Metronidazole Susceptibility / Margarita, Valentina; Cao, Le Chi; Bailey, Nicholas P; Ngoc, Thuy Ha Thi; Ngo, Thi Minh Chau; Nu, Phuong Anh Ton; Diaz, Nicia; Dessì, Daniele; Hirt, Robert P; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Rappelli, Paola. - In: ANTIBIOTICS. - ISSN 2079-6382. - 11:6(2022), p. 812. [10.3390/antibiotics11060812]