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Keywords:

  • endocytosis;
  • immune evasion;
  • Leishmania;
  • trypanosomes;
  • vesicle transport

Trypanosomes are members of the kinetoplastida, a group of divergent protozoan parasites responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. These organisms have highly complex life cycles requiring modification of their cell surface together with engagement of immune evasion systems to effect survival; both processes intimately involve the membrane trafficking system. The completion of three trypanosomatid and several additional protist genomes in the last few years is providing an exciting opportunity to evaluate, at the molecular level, the evolution and diversity of membrane trafficking across deep evolutionary time as well as to analyse in unprecedented detail the membrane trafficking systems of trypanosomes.