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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina (México)

On-line version ISSN 2448-4865Print version ISSN 0026-1742


OLIVOS-GARCIA, Alfonso; SAAVEDRA, Emma; NEQUIZ AVENDANO, Mario  and  PEREZ-TAMAYO, Ruy. Amebiasis: Molecular mechanisms of Entamoeba histolytica pathogenicity. Rev. Fac. Med. (Méx.) [online]. 2011, vol.54, n.2, pp.10-20. ISSN 2448-4865.

Amoebiasis is a disease that affects 10 % of the world population, and it may have a different behavior when attacks bowels, liver, lungs, brain, etc. Its biological cycle is well known, as well as its symptoms and signs of its penetration into those organs, its diagnosis and treatment, but it is still a controversy on the molecular mechanism of its pathogenesis; to study them it, the experimental hepatic abscess in hamsters has been employed. For years it was considered that the pathogenicity of E. Histolítica was due to its capacity to destroy tissues, but we found that virulent E. Histoliticaperse is unable to produce liver damage in leucopenic hamster; we therefore studied the mechanisms of virulence of the amoeba by functional and molecular comparison between virulent and non virulent E. Histolitica. We found that the parasit virulence cannot be explained only by the activity of citotoxic or proteolytic molecules (adhesines, phospholypases and amebopores, or proteases), and the findings suggest that when amoebas arrives to the hamster liver and find a toxic concentration of oxygen, this sensibilizes them to lysis by complement, hydrogen peroxide and hypoclorose acid. The consequences of those findings may open new perspectives for the design of new therapies for the treatment of this disease.

Keywords : Entamoeba histolytica; amebiasis; oxidative stress; nitric oxide; pathogenesis.

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