Causative Agent

Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan measuring about 10 by 30 mm, has four anterior flagella, and has a posterior flagellum attached to an undulating membrane (figure 25.21). It also has a slender posteriorly protruding rigid rod called an axostyle. Trichomonas vaginalis has an unmistakable jerky motility on microscopic examination of the vaginal drainage. There is no cyst form. The organism is a eukaryote, but it lacks mitochondria. Trichomonas vaginalis has interesting cytoplasmic organelles called hydrogenosomes. Enzymes within these double membrane-bounded organelles remove the carboxyl group (COOH) from pyruvate and transfer electrons to hydrogen ions, thereby producing hydrogen gas. ■ mitochondria, p. 75

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