In this study we have examined certain aspects of the process of cell invasion and parasitophorous vacuole escape by metacyclic trypomastigotes and extracellular amastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi
(G strain). Using Vero (and HeLa) cells as targets, we detected differences in the kinetics of vacuole escape by the two forms. Alcalinization of intercellular pH influenced both invasion as well as the escape from the parasitophorous vacuole by metacyclic trypomastigotes, but not the escape kinetics of extracellular amastigotes. We used sialic acid mutants as target cells and observed that the deficiency of this molecule facilitated the escape of both infective forms. Hemolysin activity was only detected in extracellular amastigotes and neither form presented detectable transialidase activity. Invasion of extracellular amastigotes and trypomastigotes in Vero cells was affected in different ways by drugs that interfere with host cell Ca2+
mobilization. These results are in line with previous results that indicate that metacyclic trypomastigotes and extracellular amastigote forms utilize mechanisms with particular features to invade host cells and to escape from their parasitophorous vacuoles.