Amebiasis pp 459-470 | Cite as

Host Immunity and Tissue Destruction During Liver Abscess Formation

  • Elena Helk
  • Hannah Bernin
  • Hanna Lotter


Amebic liver abscess (ALA) is a severe focal destruction of liver tissue caused by infection with the parasite Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica). In the past, tissue damage has been mainly attributed to pathogenicity factors of the parasite. However, the massive presence of innate immune cells raises the question whether host cells contribute to the destruction of the liver tissue as well. In this chapter, we discuss the role of neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages during ALA in animal models for the disease. In brief, neutrophils contribute only partially to the observed pathology, whereas inflammatory monocytes and resident liver macrophages are substantially involved in tissue damage seen during E. histolytica infection. Therefore, we conclude beyond parasite-specific effector molecules, immune pathological mechanisms of the host substantially contribute to the development of ALA.


SCID Mouse Entamoeba Histolytica Immunocompetent Mouse Inflammatory Monocyte Amebic Liver Abscess 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research presented in this chapter was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft SFB 841 (“Liver inflammation: Infection, Immune Regulation and Consequences”). E.H. is supported by studentships from the SFB 841, Hamburg, Germany. H.B. is supported by the Werner-Otto Stiftung, Hamburg, Germany. H.L. is supported by and holds a group leadership in the Department of Molecular Parasitology from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany. We thank Claudia Marggraff for the excellent immunohistology of ALA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular ParasitologyBernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical MedicineHamburgGermany

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