Charles University in Prague (established in 1348), one of the oldest university in the world, teamed up with Chang Gung University (established in 1987) to study the role of protozoan exosome on virus transmission supported by the MOST-GACR Joint Research Cooperation Funding. Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) with a worldwide incidence of over 220 million cases. Trichomonads often harbor viral (TVV) or Mycoplasma hominis endosymbionts that can amplify the severity of infection. However, the mechanisms of communication between endosymbiont, parasite, and host cell are unknown. This cooperation project is based on mutual sharing of data, personnel, and complementary expertise between two leading groups that provide a synergic effect towards investigation of a common aim: to elucidate how presence of endosymbionts (TVV and M. hominis) modify exosomal cargo of T. vaginalis and may stimulate the parasite virulence.
CGU is renowned as one of the best-performing research university in Taiwan. In order to continue to strengthen this prestigious status, the University boasted several outstanding research teams involved in close collaboration with international research institutions. Professor Petrus Tang of CGU (right two in the photo) and Professor Jan Tachezy of CU (center in the picture) started their collaboration in 2019. The Prague laboratory has deep experience with cell cultivations, cell transfection, organelle separation proteomic analyses using label-free quantitative MS/MS. The Taipei laboratory has a good track record in genomics, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics. They will generate complementary data using sequencing of exosomal RNA derived from parasite-free and parasite-infected strains. In addition to collaboration between two teams, they will also collect the data from the public domain for integrated analysis and construct a web-based T. vaginalis exosomal proteome and transcriptome database for the research community. The joining of these complementary strengths with a joint publication strategy will establish a focused research profile that will be highly visible worldwide.