Visualization of new virus-like-particles in Trichomonas vaginalis

M. Benchimol, T. H. Chang, J. F. Alderete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the present work, we demonstrate virus-like particles (VLPs) with various morphological variations in Trichomonas vaginalis. The VLPs were distinct based on size, shape and electron density, with VLPs being either electron-dense or electron-lucent. We used electron microscopy thin sections of several T. vaginalis strains virus-infected, and also negative staining of fractions obtained after purification of CsCl buoyant density gradient centrifugation. The particles observed in fractions are identical to those previously described, but by thin sections, we found new forms. The shapes found were icosahedral, spherical and oblong, and the sizes varied from 33 to 120 nm in diameter with the most common VLP being spherical and having a size range from 83 to 104 nm. The VLPs were found in the cytoplasm closely associated with the Golgi complex, with some VLPs budding from the Golgi, and other VLPs were detected adjacent to the plasma membrane. Unidentified cytoplasmic inclusions were observed in the region close to the VLPs and Golgi. Clusters of the already described icosahedral virus were also observed in the cytoplasm, although less frequently. These results indicate that T. vaginalis organisms may be infected with different dsRNA viruses simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-415
Number of pages10
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • dsRNA virus
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Ultrastructure
  • Virus-like-particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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