Identification of Endosymbiotic Virus in Small Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Trichomonas vaginalis

Seow Chin Ong, Wei Hung Cheng, Fu Man Ku, Chih Yu Tsai, Po Jung Huang, Chi Ching Lee, Yuan Ming Yeh, Petr Rada, Ivan Hrdý, Ravi Kumar Narayanasamy, Tamara Smutná, Rose Lin, Hong Wei Luo, Cheng Hsun Chiu, Jan Tachezy*, Petrus Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


Accumulated evidence suggests that the endosymbiotic Trichomonasvirus (TVV) may play a role in the pathogenesis and drug susceptibility of Trichomonas vaginalis. Several reports have shown that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from TVV-positive (TVV+) trichomonads can modulate the immune response in human vaginal epithelial cells and animal models. These results prompted us to examine whether EVs released from TVV+ isolates contained TVV. We isolated small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) from six T. vaginalis isolates that were either TVV free (ATCC 50143), harbored a single (ATCC 30236, ATCC 30238, T1), two (ATCC PRA-98), or three TVV subspecies (ATCC 50148). The presence of TVV subspecies in the six isolates was observed using reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed the presence of cup-shaped sEVs with a size range from 30–150 nm. Trichomonas vaginalis tetraspanin (TvTSP1; TVAG_019180), the classical exosome marker, was identified in all the sEV preparations. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis showed that all the sEVs isolated from TVV+ isolates contain viral capsid proteins derived from the same TVV subspecies in that isolate as demonstrated by RT-PCR. To provide more comprehensive information on the TVV subspecies population in other T. vaginalis isolates, we investigated the distribution of TVV subspecies in twentyfour isolates by mining the New-Generation Sequencing (NGS) RNAseq datasets. Our results should be beneficial for future studies investigating the role of TVV on the pathogenicity of T. vaginalis and the possible transmission of virus subspecies among different isolates via sEVs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number531
Issue number3
StatePublished - 03 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • New-Generation Sequencing
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Trichomonasvirus
  • extracellular vesicles
  • proteomics


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