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Cryptosporidium excystation and invasion: getting to the guts of the matter

Smith, H.V. and Nichols, R. and Grimason, A.M. (2005) Cryptosporidium excystation and invasion: getting to the guts of the matter. Trends in Parasitology, 21 (3). pp. 133-142. ISSN 1471-4922

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Abstract

Cryptosporidium parvum excystation and host cell invasion have been characterized in some detail ultrastructurally. However, until recently, the biochemical and molecular basis of host-parasite interactions and parasite- and host-specific molecules involved in excystation, motility and host cell invasion have been poorly understood. This article describes our understanding of Cryptosporidium excystation and the events leading to host cell invasion, and draws from information available about these processes in other apicomplexans. Many questions remain but, once the specific mechanisms are identified, they could prove to be novel targets for drug delivery.