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Genetic characterization of three Cuban Trichomonas vaginalis virus. Phylogeny of Totiviridae family.

Jorge Fraga, Lazara Rojas, Idalia Sariego, Aymé Fernández-Calienes
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Journal Article
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Trichomonas vaginalis can be infected with double stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses known as T. vaginalis virus (TVV). This viral infection may have important implications for trichomonal virulence and disease pathogenesis. In this study we identified and genetic characterized three strains of TVVs isolated from T. vaginalis in Cuba. The three new predicted sequences of capsid protein and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase amounted to the previously determined 20 TVV sequences and other 21 viruses of Totiviridae family were used for a phylogenetic analysis. Four distinct monophyletic clades are shown in a phylogenetic tree. One corresponds with TVVs, other with Victorivirus, Leishmaniavirus and Eimeria brunetti virus and, other with viruses of the genus Totivirus and the last with Giardiavirus. The E. brunetti virus is identified in the phylogenetic tree as independent taxon between Leishmaniavirus and Victorivirus isolates, most closely related to Victorivirus. TVV constitute a monophyletic cluster distinguishable from all other viruses in Totiviridae family. This result suggested that TVV may be grouped in a separated genus and not inside of Giardiavirus. TVVs appear to be more closely related to protozoan viruses in the genus Leishmaniavirus and to fungal viruses in the genus Victorivirus than to other protozoan and fungal viruses in Giardiavirus and Totivirus. Among TVVs, four main groups can be recognized within Trichomonasvirus cluster, which correspond with the previous species classification proposed. Further studies, with more TVV strains, especially TVV3 and 4 strains, are needed in order to determine the phylogenetic relationship among Trichomonasvirus genus and specifically if TVV2 and 3 each also constitute a well-delimited group.

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