Trichomonades from the mouth were studied by Steinberg who proposed to group them into three distinct types; namely, Trichomonas elongata, Trichomonas caudata, and Trichomonas flagellata. Doflein (3) regards them as probably identical with Trichomonas hominis. Opinions differ as to whether or not Trichomonas vaginalis Donné and Trichomonas hominis Grassi are the same species. Lynch, for instance, believes that they are the same species, while von Prowazek (4), Bensen (5), and others (6, 7) insist that they are different types. Bensen's view seems to be well supported by the difference alleged to be found between the mode of encystment in the two trichomonades, were it not for the fact that our knowledge about the so called cyst of trichomonades is still obscure. According to Alexeieff (8) many of the so called cysts were evidently blastomyces contained in the cell body of the trichomonas. An autogamy alleged to take place in cysts as described by Bohne and von Prowazek (9) has not been confirmed by Dobell (10). And Wenyon (11) contends that it has never been found possible to produce any development of these cysts outside the body on the warm stage as can be done with the cysts of Entamœba coli. Therefore, it is still premature to take the process of encystment into consideration as far as the classification of trichomonas is concerned. On the other hand, Rodenwaldt (12) seems to think that there are many species of trichomonas in the human intestines, and Wenyon has described a new trichomonas from the human intestines (Macrostoma mesnili Wenyon).
Further cultural studies in the morphology and biology of these organisms must be carried out in order to solve these problems.
In the light of modern investigations there are five subgenera to be included under the genus Trichomonas Donné. They are as follows:
(1) Protrichomonas Alexeieff, with three anterior flagella, without an undulating membrane.
(2) Trichomastix Biitschli) with three anterior flagella and a trailing flagellum (Schleppgeissel) without an undulating membrane.
(3) Trichomonas Donné, with three anterior flagella and an undulating membrane.
(4) Macrostoma Alexeieff, Amend, Wenyon (11), with three anterior flagella and an undulating membrane wedged in a deep groove (peristome).
(5) Tetratrichomonas Parisi (13), with four anterior flagella and an undulating membrane.
As far as our culture trichomonas from the human mouth is concerned, it has been shown that it is not strictly a trichomonas and that it should be classed under the subgenus Tetratrichomonas.