What is the immunopathology of Entamoeba histolytica in the pathogenesis of amebiasis?

Updated: Jul 19, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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E histolytica possesses about 100 putative transmembrane kinases (TMKs), which are commonly divided into 9 subgroups. Of these, EhTMKB1-9 is expressed in proliferating trophozoites and induced by serum. In an animal model, it was found to be involved in phagocytosis and to play a role as a virulence factor in amebic colitis. [13] These findings suggest that TMKs such as EhTMKB1-9 may be attractive targets for future drug development.

Epithelial cells also produce various inflammatory mediators, including IL-1β, IL-8, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, leading to the attraction of neutrophils and macrophages. [14, 15] Corticosteroid therapy is known to worsen the clinical outcome, possibly because of its blunting effect on this innate immune response.

Additional host defenses, including the complement system, could be inhibited directly by the trophozoites, as is suggested by the finding that a region of the GAL/GalNAc–specific lectin showed antigenic crossreactivity with CD59, a membrane inhibitor of the C5b-9 attack complex in human red blood cells. [16]

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