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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Jun;8(6):413-22. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2317. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

Behind the smile: cell biology and disease mechanisms of Giardia species.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Center, BOX 596, Uppsala University, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


The eukaryotic intestinal parasite Giardia intestinalis was first described in 1681, when Antonie van Leeuwenhoek undertook a microscopic examination of his own diarrhoeal stool. Nowadays, although G. intestinalis is recognized as a major worldwide contributor to diarrhoeal disease in humans and other mammals, the disease mechanisms are still poorly understood. Owing to its reduced complexity and proposed early evolutionary divergence, G. intestinalis is used as a model eukaryotic system for studying many basic cellular processes. In this Review we discuss recent discoveries in the molecular cell biology and pathogenesis of G. intestinalis.

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