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.
International consortium to receive BRL 43.5 million for discovering drugs to treat neglected diseases

International consortium to receive BRL 43.5 million for discovering drugs to treat neglected diseases

'African eye worm' hampers efforts to eliminate river blindness, study shows

'African eye worm' hampers efforts to eliminate river blindness, study shows

Detailed imaging of trypanosome paves way for new opportunities to combat sleeping sickness

Detailed imaging of trypanosome paves way for new opportunities to combat sleeping sickness

Alzheimer’s drug an interesting candidate for the treatment of parasitic Chagas disease

Alzheimer’s drug an interesting candidate for the treatment of parasitic Chagas disease

Discovery of protein that may be key to treating tropical diseases

Discovery of protein that may be key to treating tropical diseases

Preventing parasites from adhering to mosquito guts could stop disease transmission

Preventing parasites from adhering to mosquito guts could stop disease transmission

People successfully treated for visceral leishmaniasis can still infect others, study confirms

People successfully treated for visceral leishmaniasis can still infect others, study confirms

Machine learning identifies bugs that spread Chagas disease

Machine learning identifies bugs that spread Chagas disease

UGR scientists break new ground in Chagas disease research

UGR scientists break new ground in Chagas disease research

Key gene involved in transmission of African sleeping sickness identified

Key gene involved in transmission of African sleeping sickness identified

New survey indicates need of attention to neglected tropical diseases

New survey indicates need of attention to neglected tropical diseases

Shorter treatment for Chagas disease found to be effective and safer than standard treatment

Shorter treatment for Chagas disease found to be effective and safer than standard treatment

New drug for sleeping sickness approved in the Democratic Republic of Congo

New drug for sleeping sickness approved in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Combination therapy shows high efficacy in treating people with leishmaniasis and HIV

Combination therapy shows high efficacy in treating people with leishmaniasis and HIV

EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness

EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness

Anti-parasite drug may improve long-term prognosis of Chagas patients

Anti-parasite drug may improve long-term prognosis of Chagas patients

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