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Apicomplexan protozoan pathogens avoid destruction and establish a replicative niche within host cells by forming a nonfusogenic parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Here we present evidence for lysosome-mediated degradation of Toxoplasma gondii after invasion of macrophages activated in vivo. Pathogen elimination was dependent on the interferon γ inducible-p47 GTPase, IGTP, required PI3K activity, and was preceded by PV membrane indentation, vesiculation, disruption, and, surprisingly, stripping of the parasite plasma membrane. Denuded parasites were enveloped in autophagosome-like vacuoles, which ultimately fused with lysosomes. These observations outline a series of mechanisms used by effector cells to redirect the fate of a classically nonfusogenic intracellular pathogen toward a path of immune elimination. JEM © The Rockefeller University Press.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Experimental Medicine

Publication Date





2063 - 2071