Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is an intracellular parasite that targets specific proteins of the host cell resulting in the generation of a unique parasitophorous vacuole (PV). As an intracellular parasite, T. cruzi interacts with cells from the mammalian host. Here we review aspects related with the binding of the main infective developmental stage (trypomastigote) to the host cell and its recognition by surface-exposed ligands/receptors. This process involves numerous signaling pathways and culminates in the entry of the parasite and modifications in both cells. The invasion of trypomastigotes occurs through multiple endocytic process, assembly of the PV, interaction of this vacuole with the endolysosomal system, lysis of the PV membrane, and multiplication of amastigotes within the cell in direct contact with host cell organelles.
Part of the book: Biology of Trypanosoma cruzi