Giardiasis is the most common diarrheal disease caused by parasites, commonly leading to weight
loss, and may cause malnutrition, especially in children. The aim of our group is to build on our
previous studies of endocytosis in the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia, extending our focus to
the function of exosome-like vesicles released by strains with different virulence. We will advance
in the molecular characterization of exosomes from different strains and drug-resistant parasites
to further analyze the role of these vesicles in pathogenesis, antiparasitic resistance, and triggering
of antigenic variation. This will disclose whether long distance pathogen-to-pathogen and
pathogen-to-host communication via extracellular vesicles represents a novel mechanism to
control complex virulence phenotypes.

Research SUPPORT

2019-2022. PICT 2017-2435. FONCYT. ROLE: PI

PhD Students

Biol. Mol. Lorena Frontera

Estudiante de Doctorado Ciencias Químicas, UNC.

Becario doctoral de CONICET


Mic. Sofía Moyano

Becario doctoral de FONCyT

Estudiante de Doctorado Ciencias Químicas, UNC.


Biol. Juliana Musso

Doctoral Fellow. FONCYT



  1. Rivero MR, Vranych CV, Bisbal M, Maletto BA, Rópolo AS, Touz MC*. Adaptor Protein 2 Regulates
    Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis and Cyst Formation in Giardia lamblia. Biochem J. 428 (1) 33-45. 2010.
  2. Maria Rivero, Liudmila Kulakova, and Maria Touz*. Long double-stranded RNA produces specific gene downregulation in Giardia lamblia. J Parasitol. 2010 Aug;96(4):815-9.
  3. Andrea S. Rópolo and Maria C. Touz. A lesson in survival, by Giardia lamblia. Invited mini-review.
    ScientificWorldJournal. 2010 Oct 12;10:2019-31. Review.
  4.  Rivero MR, Miras SL, Quiroga R, Rópolo AS, Touz MC*. Giardia lamblia low-density lipoprotein receptor- related protein is involved in selective lipoprotein endocytosis and parasite replication. Mol Microbiol. 2011 Mar;79(5):1204-19. Tapa.
  5. Maria C. Touz*, Maria R. Rivero, Silvana L. Miras, Juan S. Bonifacino. Lysosomal protein trafficking in
    Giardia lamblia: common and distinct features. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:1898-1909. Review.
  6. Rivero MR, Miras SL, Feliziani C, Zamponi N, Quiroga R, Hayes SF, Rópolo AS, Touz MC*. Vacuolar Protein Sorting Receptor in Giardia lamblia. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43712.
  7. Miras SL, Merino MC, Gottig N, Rópolo AS, Touz MC*. The giardial VPS35 retromer subunit is necessary for multimeric complex assembly and interaction with the vacuolar protein sorting receptor. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jun 26;1833(12):2628-2638. doi:  0.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.06.015.
  8. Feliziani C, Zamponi N, Gottig N, Rópolo AS, Lanfredi-Rangel A, Touz MC*. The giardial ENTH protein
    participates in lysosomal protein trafficking and endocytosis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015
  9. Feliziani C, Valdez-Taubas J, Moyano S, Quassollo G, Poprawski J, Wendland B, Touz MC*. Vestiges of Ent3p/Ent5p function in the giardial epsin homolog. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Feb 2. pii: S0167-
    4889(16)30017-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2016.02.001.
  10.  Zamponi N, Zamponi E, Mayol GF, Lanfredi-Rangel A, Svärd SG, Touz MC*. Endoplasmic reticulum is the sorting core facility in the Golgi-lacking protozoan Giardia lamblia. Traffic. 2017 Sep;18(9):604-621. doi: 10.1111/tra.12501. Tapa.
  11. Touz MC*, Zamponi N. Sorting without a Golgi complex. Traffic. 2017 Jul 11. doi: 10.1111/tra.12500.
  12.  Frontera LS, Moyano S, QUassollo G, Lanfredi-Rangel A, Rópolo AS, and Touz MC*. Lactoferrin and
    lactoferricin endocytosis halt Giardia cell growth and prevent infective cyst production. Scientific Reports. Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 21;8(1):18020. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36563-1.