Host-Parasite Biology of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection
Pp. 83-93 (11)
Conrad L. Epting, Kevin M. Bonney, Cheryl L. Olson and David M. Engman
The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, is an
intracellular pathogen in its vertebrate host. Here we review the process of cell invasion by T.
cruzi from the perspectives of surface-surface interactions, intracellular signaling, contributions
of donor membranes and the cytoskeleton, and discuss cytoplasmic entry and differentiation after
escape from the parasitophorous vacuole. The chronic host-pathogen relationship depends upon
immune evasion by the parasite and prevention of host apoptosis. Finally, we briefly discuss the
development of cardiac autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.
Department of Pediatrics and Departments of Pathology and Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine