Entamoeba histolytica: a snapshot of current research and methods for genetic analysis

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Aug;15(4):469-75. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2012.04.011. Epub 2012 Jun 2.


Entamoeba histolytica represents one of the leading causes of parasitic death worldwide. Although identified as the causative agent of amebiasis since 1875, the molecular mechanisms by which the parasite causes disease are still not fully understood. Studying Entamoeba reveals insights into a eukaryotic cell that differs in many ways from better-studied model organisms. Thus, much can be learned from this protozoan parasite on evolution, cell biology, and RNA biology. In this review we discuss selected research highlights in Entamoeba research and focus on the development of molecular biological techniques to study this pathogen. We end by highlighting some of the many questions that remain to be answered in order to fully understand this important human pathogen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Entamoeba histolytica / genetics*
  • Entamoeba histolytica / pathogenicity
  • Entamoeba histolytica / physiology*
  • Entamoeba histolytica / ultrastructure
  • Entamoebiasis / parasitology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Virulence Factors