Later published in the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 2016, 63


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Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmitted parasite and, while it is often asymptomatic in 50 males, the parasite is associated with disease in both sexes. Metronidazole is an effective 51 treatment for trichomoniasis, but resistant strains have evolved and, thus, it has become 52 necessary to investigate other possible therapies. In this study, we examined the effects of native 53 and oxidized forms of the sodium salts of eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic and arachidonic 54 acids on T. vaginalis activity. Eicosapentaenoic acid was the most toxic with 190 μM and 380 55 μM causing approximately 90% cell death in Casu2 and ATCC 50142 strains, respectively. In 56 contrast, oxidized eicosapentaenoic acid was the least toxic, requiring >3 mM to inhibit activity, 57 while low levels (10μM) were associated with increased parasite density. Mass spectrometric 58 analysis of oxidized eicosapentaenoic acid revealed C20 products containing one to six 59 additional oxygen atoms and various degrees of bond saturation. These results indicate that 60 eicosapentaenoic acid has different effects on T. vaginalis survival, depending on whether it is 61 present in the native or oxidized form. A better understanding of lipid metabolism in T. vaginalis 62 may facilitate the design of synthetic fatty acids that are effective for the treatment of 63 metronidazole-resistant T. vaginalis.

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