William A. Petri, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

William A. Petri, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine and Pathology
Associate Director of Microbiology


Medical School: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. MD/PhD, 1982
Residency:  Internal Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. 1982-85
Fellowship: Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 1985-88

Dr. Petri is the Wade Hampton Frost Professor of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Pathology at the University of Virginia Medical School. He is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at UVa. In addition, he is President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


I am interested in understanding how the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica invades the human intestine to cause amebic colitis and liver abscess. My lab is focusing on the amebic contact-dependent cytotoxicity that destroys the human immune cells responding to the site of infection. The contact event prior to host cell killing is mediated by an E. histolytica cell surface lectin. We have identified, cloned, and expressed this lectin, and demonstrated its potential as a vaccine. Currently we are concentrating on identifying domains of the lectin involved in adherence and cell killing, and the application of this information to vaccine design. These laboratory-based studies are complemented by field studies in Bangladesh, where we are investigating the human immune response to E. histolytica, and identifying strain-associated differences in E. histolytica virulence.


  • Medina-Bolivar F, Wright R, Funk V, Sentz D, Barroso L, Wilkins TD, Petri WA Jr., and Cramer CL  A non-toxic lectin for antigen delivery of plant-based mucosal vaccines. Vaccine 2003, 21: 997-1005.
  • Gilchrist CA, Leo M, Line CG, Mann BJ, Petri WA Jr. Calcium modulates promoter occupancy by the Entamoeba histolytica Ca2+-binding transcription factor URE3-BP. J Biol Chem. 2003; 278: 4646 – 4653.
  • Huston CD, Miller-Sims V, Petri WA Jr.  Apoptotic killing and phagocytosis of host cells by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Infect Immun 2003, 71:964-72.
  • Ali, I.K.M., Hossain, M.B., Roy, S., Ayeh-Kumi, P.F., Petri WA Jr., Haque, R., Clark, C.G. 2003 Entamoeba moshkovskii infections in children, Bangladesh. Emerg Infect Dis 2003, 9: 580-584.
  • Haque R, Huston CD, Hughes M, Houpt E, Petri WA Jr.  Current Concepts: Amebiasis.  New Engl J Med 2003, 348:1565-73.
  • Tachibana H, Watanabe K, Cheng X-J, Tsukamoto H, Kaneda Y, Takeuchi T, Ihara S, Petri WA Jr. Neutralizing human antibodies specific for the Entamoeba histolytica Gal/GalNAc lectin heavy subunit. Infect Immun 2003, 71:4313-9.
  • Petri WA Jr. Therapy of intestinal protozoa.  Trends Parasitol 2003, 19:523-6.
  • Haque, R, Ali IM, Hossain MB, Mondal D, Sack RB, Farr BF, Beaty TH, Petri WA Jr.  Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of acute diarrhea and endemic E. histolytica infections in preschool children in an urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Am J Trop Med Hyg 2003, 69:398-405.
  • Houpt E, Barroso L, Lockhart L, Wright R, Cramer C, Lyerly D, Petri WA Jr. Prevention of intestinal amebiasis by vaccination with the Entamoeba histolytica Gal/GalNac lectin.  Vaccine 2004, 22:611-617.
  • Duggal P, Haque, R, Ali IM, Hossain MB, Mondal D, Sack RB, Farr BF, Beaty TH, Petri WA Jr. HLA Class II alleles influencing susceptibility to E. histolytica infection in Bangladeshi Children. J Infect Dis 2004, 189:520-6.
  • Pacheco-Yépez J, Shibayama M, Campos-Rodríguez R, Beck D, Houpt E, Petri WA Jr, Tsutsumi V.  In vitro and in vivo interaction of Entamoeba histolytica Gal/GalNAc lectin with various target cells: An immunocytochemical analysis. Parasitol International 2004, 53:35-47.
  • Ramakrishnan G, Gilchrist CA, Musa H, Torok M, Grant PA, Mann BJ, Petri WA Jr.  Histone acetyltransferases and deacetylase in Entamoeba histolytica.  Molec Biochem Parasitol 2004, 138:205-216.
  • Loftus B, et al.  The genome of the protist parasite Entamoeba histolytica,  Nature 2005, 433:865-868.
  • Okada M, Huston CD, Mann BJ, Petri WA Jr., Kita K, Nozaki T. Comprehensive proteomics analysis of phagocytosis by the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Eukaryotic Cell 2005, 4:827-31.
  • Beck DL, Boettner DR, Dragulev B, Ready K, Nozaki T, Petri WA Jr.  Identification and gene expression analysis of a large family of transmembrane kinases related to the Gal/GalNAc lectin in Entamoeba histolytica. Eukaryotic Cell 2005, 4:722-732.
  • Boettner DR, Huston CD, Sullivan JA, Petri WA Jr.  Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar utilize externalized phosphatidylserine for recognition and phagocytosis of erythrocytes.  Infect Immun 2005, 73:3422-3430.
  • Roy S, Kabir M, Mondal D, Petri WA Jr, Haque R.  Real-time PCR assay for the diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica infection.  J Clin Microbiol 2005, 43:2168-72.
  • Tanyuksel M, Yilmaz H, Ulukanligil M, Araz E, Cicek M, Koru O, Tas Z, Petri WA Jr.  Modern diagnostic techniques to avoid misdiagnosis of amebiasis in Turkey. Experimental Parasitol 110:322-326, 2005.
  • Simonishvili S, Tsanava S, Sanadze K, Chlikadze R, Miskalishvili A, Lomkatsi N,  Imnadze P, Petri WA Jr,Trapaidze N. Entamoeba histolytica: The serine-rich gene polymorphism-based genetic variability of clinical isolates from Georgia. Experimental Parasitol 110:313-317, 2005.
  • Haque R, Mondal D, Duggal P, Kabir M, Roy S, Farr BM, Sack RB, Petri WA Jr.   Entamoeba histolytica Infection in Children and Protection from Subsequent Amebiasis. Infect Immun 74:904-909, 2006.
  • Okada M, Huston CD, Oue M, Mann BJ, Petri WA Jr, Kita K, Nozaki T. Kinetics and strain variation of phagosome proteins of Entamoeba histolytica by proteomic analysis. Molec Biochem Parasitol 145:171-183, 2006.
  • Tarleton JL, Haque R, Mondal D, Shu J, Farr BM, Sack RB, Petri WA Jr.  The cognitive effects of diarrhea, malnutrition, and Entamoeba histolytica infection on school-age children in Dhaka Bangladesh.  Am J Trop Med Hyg in press, 2006.
  • Mondal D, Petri WA Jr, Sack RB,  Haque R,.   Entamoeba histolytica – associated diarrheal illness is negatively associated with the growth of preschool children: Evidence from a prospective study. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg in press, 2006.
  • Gilchrist CA, Houpt E, Trapaidze N, Fei Z, Crasta O, Asgharpour A, Evans C, Martino-Catt S, Baba DJ, Stroup S,  Hamano S, Ehrenkaufer G, Okada M, Singh U, Nozaki T, Mann BJ, Petri WA Jr.  Impact of Intestinal Colonization and Invasion on the E. histolytica Transcriptome.  Molec Biochem Parasitol in press 2006.

A complete list of Dr. Petri’s publication can be found at  PubMed