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Front Microbiol. 2016 Mar 3;7:256. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00256. eCollection 2016.

Infection Strategies of Intestinal Parasite Pathogens and Host Cell Responses.

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Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de São PauloSão Paulo, Brazil; Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de São PauloDiadema, Brazil.


Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium sp., and Entamoeba histolytica are important pathogenic intestinal parasites and are amongst the leading causes worldwide of diarrheal illness in humans. Diseases caused by these organisms, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and amoebiasis, respectively, are characterized by self-limited diarrhea but can evolve to long-term complications. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of diarrhea associated with these three pathogens are being unraveled, with knowledge of both the strategies explored by the parasites to establish infection and the methods evolved by hosts to avoid it. Special attention is being given to molecules participating in parasite-host interaction and in the mechanisms implicated in the diseases' pathophysiologic processes. This review focuses on cell mechanisms that are modulated during infection, including gene transcription, cytoskeleton rearrangements, signal transduction pathways, and cell death.


diarrhea; gastrointestinal tract; intestinal epithelial barrier; intestinal infection; parasite–host interaction; protozoan parasites

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