A team of researchers led by Jane Carlton, Ph.D., a parasite specialist and an associate professor in the department of Medical Parasitology at New York University School of Medicine, have successfully decoded the genome of the parasite causing Trichomoniasis, one of the world's most common STD that usually affects both men and women.
The study results were published in the Jan.12 issue of the journal Science.
Moreover, this 4-year long study also hopes in throwing light on the parasite that is being estimated to infect 170 million people a year worldwide, including 8 million in North America.
Trichomoniasis is the most common but curable Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) disease, caused by the single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas Vaginalis. Though it is common in men and women, young and sexually active women likely to be affected more by this disease.
Dr. Jane Carlton, said, 'There are a huge number of people infected out there, but they don't know,' however, the disease is easily curable, with a drug called Flagyl but undiagnosed people continue spreading it.
He added that men, when affected by trichomoniasis usually suffer no symptoms, while about half of the women do, reporting problems like vaginal itching, fishy-smelling frothy discharge etc. Trichomoniasis affecting pregnant woman would result in premature birth or low-weight babies and is also linked to pelvic inflammatory diseases.
To conclude, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have funded this genome research. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the institute reported that the 'Genetic mapping is a very strong step in the right direction with regard to a parasite we still have not fully appreciated.'