Chagas Disease News and Research

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Chagas (pronounced SHA-gus) disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered it in 1909. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). Chagas disease (T. cruzi infection) is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.

People can become infected in various ways. In Chagas-endemic areas, the main way is through vectorborne transmission. The insect vectors are called triatomine bugs. These blood-sucking bugs get infected by biting an infected animal or person. Once infected, the bugs pass T. cruzi parasites in their feces. The bugs are found in houses made from materials such as mud, adobe, straw, and palm thatch. During the day, the bugs hide in crevices in the walls and roofs. During the night, when the inhabitants are sleeping, the bugs emerge. Because they tend to feed on people’s faces, triatomine bugs are also known as “kissing bugs.” After they bite and ingest blood, they defecate on the person. The person can become infected if T. cruzi parasites in the bug feces enter the body through mucous membranes or breaks in the skin. The unsuspecting, sleeping person may accidentally scratch or rub the feces into the bite wound, eyes, or mouth.
Clinical trial begins to find better treatment for chronic cases of PKDL in Africa

Clinical trial begins to find better treatment for chronic cases of PKDL in Africa

Researchers receive $6 million NIH grant to improve treatment for Chagas disease

Researchers receive $6 million NIH grant to improve treatment for Chagas disease

Chagas disease causes chronic heart disease and has spread outside of Latin America

Chagas disease causes chronic heart disease and has spread outside of Latin America

New laboratory-synthesized molecule appears to fight malaria effectively

New laboratory-synthesized molecule appears to fight malaria effectively

Researchers describe key role of enzyme in regulating immune response against Chagas disease parasite

Researchers describe key role of enzyme in regulating immune response against Chagas disease parasite

Researchers use miniature radio transmitters to track movements of kissing bugs

Researchers use miniature radio transmitters to track movements of kissing bugs

New guide published to help battle fatal disease caused by kissing bugs

New guide published to help battle fatal disease caused by kissing bugs

UC San Diego establishes new Center For Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery And Development

UC San Diego establishes new Center For Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery And Development

Clinical study to find improved treatment for visceral leishmaniasis starts in eastern Africa

Clinical study to find improved treatment for visceral leishmaniasis starts in eastern Africa

Researchers discover major cause of treatment failure in Chagas disease

Researchers discover major cause of treatment failure in Chagas disease

Researchers discover new weakness in sleeping sickness parasites

Researchers discover new weakness in sleeping sickness parasites

Researchers provide safety data for common antiparasitic drug used to treat Chagas disease

Researchers provide safety data for common antiparasitic drug used to treat Chagas disease

Chagas disease associated with two-fold increase in odds of strongyloidiasis, study shows

Chagas disease associated with two-fold increase in odds of strongyloidiasis, study shows

Sleeping sickness actually caused by acceleration of biological clocks

Sleeping sickness actually caused by acceleration of biological clocks

Chagas disease presents real public health problem to Canadians

Chagas disease presents real public health problem to Canadians

UTEP researchers one step closer to developing effective vaccine for cutaneous leishmaniasis

UTEP researchers one step closer to developing effective vaccine for cutaneous leishmaniasis

GHIT Fund announces US$16.7 million to support development of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics

GHIT Fund announces US$16.7 million to support development of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics

Researchers use multi-modal integrated approach to develop potential anti-Chagas therapies

Researchers use multi-modal integrated approach to develop potential anti-Chagas therapies

UCR study identifies new animal hosts of kissing bugs that spread Chagas disease

UCR study identifies new animal hosts of kissing bugs that spread Chagas disease

FDA grants accelerated approval to new treatment for children with Chagas disease

FDA grants accelerated approval to new treatment for children with Chagas disease