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Molecular identification of Pentatrichomonas hominis in two patients with gastrointestinal symptoms
  1. Dionigia Meloni1,2,
  2. Cléa Mantini1,
  3. Julien Goustille3,
  4. Guillaume Desoubeaux3,
  5. Zoha Maakaroun-Vermesse4,
  6. Jacques Chandenier3,
  7. Nausicaa Gantois1,
  8. Christophe Duboucher5,
  9. Pier Luigi Fiori2,
  10. Eduardo Dei-Cas1,
  11. Thanh Hai Duong3,
  12. Eric Viscogliosi1
  1. 1Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Inserm U1019, CNRS UMR 8204, University Lille Nord de France, Lille, France
  2. 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Experimental and Clinical Microbiology, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
  3. 3Hôpital Bretonneau, Service de Parasitologie-Mycologie-Médecine Tropicale, Tours, France
  4. 4Hôpital Clocheville, Service de Pédiatrie, Tours, France
  5. 5CHI de Poissy/Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Service de Pathologie, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
  1. Correspondence to Eric Viscogliosi, Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille (CIIL), Institut Pasteur de Lille, Inserm U1019, CNRS UMR 8204, University Lille-Nord de France, Biology and Diversity of Emerging Eukaryotic Pathogens, 1 rue du Professeur Calmette, BP 245, 59019 Lille cedex, France; eric.viscogliosi{at}

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The trichomonad species Pentatrichomonas hominis colonises the gastrointestinal tract and is generally considered as a commensal organism in humans. However, some studies have recognised an association between diarrhoea and P hominis infection in dogs and cats.1 2 In the present report, we have identified this species using molecular tools in two patients with gastrointestinal troubles. Our data suggest that P hominis is a possible zoonotic species with a significant potential of transmission by water and could be the causative agent of intestinal symptoms in children.

Case reports

An adult (case 1) was followed up for different pathologies including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Diarrhoeic stools of the patient were examined and were negative for intestinal parasites. Filter paper/slant culture technique for the recovery of Strongyloides stercoralis larval-stage nematodes from fresh faeces was performed. After 5 days, microscopic examination of the stool culture using merthiolate-iodine-formalin and RAL555 stains did not detect larval nematodes but numerous flagellates, provisionally identified as trichomonads (figure 1A,B). Although no treatment against trichomonads was administered to the patient, the stool examinations performed afterwards did not reveal trichomonads or other parasites.

Figure 1

Cytological appearance of trichomonad cells in stool culture (case 1). (A) Merthiolate-iodine-formalin- and (B) RAL555-stained smears showing numerous trichomonad cells (arrows). Note the round shape of the micro-organisms. Typical microtubular cytoskeletal structures of trichomonads including flagella and axostyle–pelta complex are not visible. Bar=15 μm.

A young child (case 2) presented with abdominal pain and loose stools without fever. A stool sample was examined by direct light …

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  • Details have been removed from these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.

  • Funding DM was supported by grants from the ERASMUS Programme and Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, and CM by a grant from the Ministère Français de l'Education Nationale, de la Recherche et de la Technologie.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.