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Parasite Immunol. 1993 Apr;15(4):223-8.

Induction of complement resistance in cloned pathogenic Entamoeba histolytica.

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Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The lytic effect of complement activated through the alternative pathway (AP) was studied on pathogenic and nonpathogenic Entamoeba histolytica recently isolated from stool samples. Recent nonpathogenic isolates were nearly unaffected by exposure to AP whereas recent pathogenic stool isolates were highly susceptible to AP dependent complement-mediated lysis. Complement susceptible pathogenic stool isolates developed complement resistance in vivo during hamster liver passage and in vitro during cultivation in the presence of increasing concentrations of normal human serum (NHS). Since a clone of pathogenic HM-1:IMSS which initially was highly susceptible also acquired complement resistance during cultivation in the presence of NHS, it is concluded that complement resistance was caused by induction rather than by selection alone. Because cultivation in the presence of heat-inactivated NHS did not affect complement susceptibility of the cloned HM-1:IMSS, complement activation itself might induce complement resistance in pathogenic E. histolytica.

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