Epigenetics: A New Model for Intracellular Parasite-Host Cell Regulation

Trends Parasitol. 2016 Jul;32(7):515-521. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2016.04.002. Epub 2016 Apr 30.


Intracellular protozoan parasites are an extremely important class of pathogens that cause a spectrum of diseases in human and animal hosts. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that protozoan parasites, like other prokaryotic and viral pathogens, manipulate host cells via epigenetic modifications of the host genome that alter transcription and corresponding signaling pathways. In light of these data, we examine the role of epigenetics in downregulation of host macrophages by Leishmania that could potentially lead to a permanent state of inactivation, thus favoring pathogen survival and disease progression.

Keywords: DNA methylation; Leishmania; Theileria; Toxoplasma; epigenetics; exosomes.; histone modification; ncRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Genome
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Leishmania / physiology*
  • Macrophages / parasitology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction