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Int J Parasitol. 2010 May;40(6):751-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.11.012. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

Compounds of the upper gastrointestinal tract induce rapid and efficient excystation of Entamoeba invadens.

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  • 1Department of Medical Parasitology, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10010, USA.


The infective stage of Entamoeba parasites is an encysted form. This stage can be readily generated in vitro, which has allowed identification of stimuli that trigger the differentiation of the parasite trophozoite stage into the cyst stage. Studies of the second differentiation event, emergence of the parasite from the cyst upon infection of a host, have been hampered by the lack of an efficient means to excyst the parasite and complete the life cycle in vitro. We have determined that a combination of exposures to water, bicarbonate and bile induces rapid excystment of Entamoeba invadens cysts. The high efficiency of this method has allowed the visualization of the dynamics of the process by electron and confocal microscopy, and should permit the analysis of stage-specific gene expression and high-throughput screening of inhibitory compounds.

(c) 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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