Investigation of Trypanosoma-induced vascular damage sheds insights into Trypanosoma vivax sequestration

Sara Silva Pereira*, Daniela Brás, Teresa Porqueddu, Ana M. Nascimento, Mariana De Niz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multiple blood-borne pathogens infecting mammals establish close interactions with the host vascular endothelium as part of their life cycles. In this work, we investigate differences in the interactions of three Trypanosoma species: T. brucei, T. congolense and T. vivax with the blood vasculature. Infection with these species results in vastly different pathologies, including different effects on vascular homeostasis, such as changes in vascular permeability and microhemorrhages. While all three species are extracellular parasites, T. congolense is strictly intravascular, while T. brucei is capable of surviving both extra- and intravascularly. Our knowledge regarding T. vivax tropism and its capacity of migration across the vascular endothelium is unknown. In this work, we show for the first time that T. vivax parasites sequester to the vascular endothelium of most organs, and that, like T. congolense, T. vivax Y486 is largely incapable of extravasation. Infection with this parasite species results in a unique effect on vascular endothelium receptors including general downregulation of ICAM1 and ESAM, and upregulation of VCAM1, CD36 and E-selectin. Our findings on the differences between the two sequestering species (T. congolense and T. vivax) and the non-sequestering, but extravasating, T. brucei raise important questions on the relevance of sequestration to the parasite's survival in the mammalian host, and the evolutionary relevance of both sequestration and extravasation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100113
JournalCell Surface
StatePublished - Dec 15 2023


  • Extravasation
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Intravital microscopy
  • Parasitology
  • Sequestration
  • Trypanosoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology


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