Research led by David H. Martin, MD, Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has found that a common sexually transmitted infection-causing parasite “cultivates” bacteria beneficial to it, changing thinking about which comes first-infection or bacteria. The researchers also discovered a previously unknown species of these bacteria.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite and is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in women where it causes vaginal discharge, a higher rate of premature deliveries, and greater susceptibility to infection with the AIDS virus. Many women have this infection and do not know it.
It is known that a change in vaginal bacteria causes a problem known as bacterial vaginosis, and women with this condition are at increased risk of acquiring a trichomonas infection. The researchers wondered if, among women with bacterial vaginosis, there were unique bacterial communities which would make women more susceptible to infection with trichomonas.
"We discovered that there are two unique bacterial communities that are very strongly associated with trichomonas infection," notes Dr. Martin. "In part what is unique about these communities is high concentrations of bacteria known as mycoplasmas. In fact one of these is a completely unknown bacterium which we have named Mnola because it is a mycoplasma discovered in NOLA."
((new microorganism! how exciting! ^_^))