Amebiasis, the result of infection with the protist parasite Entamoeba histolytica, is manifested as either commensal or invasive forms of the disease in humans. The majority of infected people do not display any pathology, and the parasite exists as a commensal, continuing to multiply and spread. Only a small fraction of the infected individuals show overt symptoms of amebiasis with invasion in the intestinal tissues or in some extraintestinal sites, such as liver. Therefore, one of the major problems in this field is to understand the mechanisms that make E. histolytica invasive in some individuals. E. histolytica displays a simple life cycle with two forms, infective cyst and vegetative trophozoites. The cysts are secreted by individuals that harbor the parasite along with fecal material and enter a human through contaminated food and water. Cysts convert into trophozoites in the intestine, and the trophozoites either produce cysts or multiply to produce more trophozoites, or both. Trophozoites can either invade epithelial tissue through the intestinal barrier or enter the circulation by penetrating through the basement membrane, lodging and multiplying in one of the organs, for example, the liver.


Infected People Entamoeba Histolytica Infective Cyst Retrotransposable Element Protist Parasite 
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© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Infectious DiseasesTokyoJapan
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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