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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 536037, 8 pages
Review Article

Trichomoniasis and Lactoferrin: Future Prospects

1Department of Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh 160030, India

Received 22 March 2012; Revised 5 July 2012; Accepted 18 August 2012

Academic Editor: Bryan Larsen

Copyright © 2012 Rakesh Sehgal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protozoan which infects the urogenital tract and requires iron as an essential nutrient. Iron is known to upregulate various adhesins required for cytoadherance and other factors involved in pathogenesis. At mucosal surfaces, iron is chelated by lactoferrin resulting in low levels of free iron. However, pathogens have evolved mechanisms for an increased uptake of iron. The present review highlights the role of iron in survival of Trichomonas during fluctuating concentrations of iron at mucosal surfaces during the menstrual cycle. Future prospects in terms of new drug and vaccine targets related to iron and its receptors have also been described.