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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 929743, 11 pages
Review Article

ETosis: A Microbicidal Mechanism beyond Cell Death

1Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-901 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-901 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Instituto de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), 23890-000 Seropedica, RJ, Brazil

Received 30 August 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Dario Zamboni

Copyright © 2012 Anderson B. Guimarães-Costa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Netosis is a recently described type of neutrophil death occurring with the release to the extracellular milieu of a lattice composed of DNA associated with histones and granular and cytoplasmic proteins. These webs, initially named neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), ensnare and kill microorganisms. Similarly, other cell types, such as eosinophils, mast cells, and macrophages, can also dye by this mechanism; thus, it was renamed as ETosis, meaning death with release of extracellular traps (ETs). Here, we review the mechanism of NETosis/etosis, emphasizing its role in diseases caused by protozoan parasites, fungi, and viruses.