Tissue destruction and invasion by Entamoeba histolytica

Trends Parasitol. 2011 Jun;27(6):254-63. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2011.02.006. Epub 2011 Mar 26.


Entamoeba histolytica is the causative agent of amebiasis, a disease that is a major source of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. The potent cytotoxic activity of the parasite appears to underlie disease pathogenesis, although the mechanism is unknown. Recently, progress has been made in determining that the parasite activates apoptosis in target cells and some putative effectors have been identified. Recent studies have also begun to unravel the host genetic determinants that influence infection outcome. Thus, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of how this parasite manages to infect, invade and ultimately inflict devastating tissue destruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemotaxis
  • Cysteine Proteases / metabolism
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Dysentery, Amebic / pathology*
  • Entamoeba histolytica / immunology
  • Entamoeba histolytica / pathogenicity*
  • Entamoebiasis / immunology
  • Entamoebiasis / parasitology
  • Entamoebiasis / pathology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Liver Abscess, Amebic / pathology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Leptin / genetics


  • Ion Channels
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • amoebapore proteins, protozoan
  • Cysteine Proteases