Capping and shedding of ectodomains in Trypanosoma cruzi may be triggered by different ligands. Here, we analysed the mobility and shedding of cell surface components of living trypomastigotes of the Y strain and the CL Brener clone in the presence of poly-L-lysine, cationized ferritin (CF) and Concanavalin A (Con A). Poly-L-lysine and CF caused intense shedding in Y strain parasites. Shedding was less intense in CL Brener trypomastigotes, and approximately 10% of these parasites did not show any decrease in poly L-lysine or CF labelling. Binding of Con A induced low-intensity shedding in Y strain and redistribution of Con A-binding sites in CL Brener parasites. Trypomastigotes of the Y strain showed intense labelling with anti-〈-galactosyl antibodies, resulting in the lysis of approximately 30% of their population, in contrast with what was observed in CL Brener parasites. Incubation with Con A and CF protected trypomastigotes of the Y strain from lysis by anti-αGal. The last treatment did not interfere with the survival of the CL Brener parasites. This study corroborates with the idea that a ligand can differentially modulate the cell surface of T. cruzi, depending on the strain used, resulting in variable immune system responses and recognition by host cells.