Gene expression of axenically-isolated clinical Entamoeba histolytica strains and its impact on disease severity of amebiasis


<jats:p>The severity of <jats:italic>Entamoeba histolytica</jats:italic> infection is determined by host immunology, pathogen virulence, and the intestinal environment. Conventional research for assessing pathogen virulence has been mainly performed using laboratory strains, such as a virulent HM-1: IMSS (HM-1) and an avirulent Rahman, under various artificial environmental conditions because of the difficulties of axenic isolation of the clinical strains. However, it is still unclear whether scientific knowledge based on laboratory strains are universally applicable to the true pathogenesis. Hereby, we performed transcriptomic analysis of clinical strains from patients with different degrees of disease severity, as well as HM-1 under different conditions. Even after several months of axenization, Clinical strains show the distinct profile in gene expression during in vitro passage, moreover, difference between any 2 of these strains was much greater than the changes on the liver challenge. Interestingly, 26 DEGs, which were closely related to the biological functions, were oppositely up- or down regulated between virulent Ax 19 (liver abscess) and avirulent Ax 11 (asymptomatic carrier). Additionally, RNAseq using laboratory strain (HM1) showed more than half of genes were differently expressed between continuously in vitro passaged HM1 (in vitro HM1) and periodically liver passaged HM1 (virulent HM1), which was much greater than the changes on the liver passage of virulent HM1. Also, transcriptomic analysis of a laboratory strain revealed that continuous environmental stress enhances its virulence via a shift in its gene expression profile. Changes in gene expression patterns on liver abscess formation were not consistent between clinical and laboratory strains.</jats:p>


  • PLOS Pathogens

    PLOS Pathogens 18 (9), e1010880-, 2022-09-30

    Public Library of Science (PLoS)

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