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.
Abbott fourth quarter worldwide sales increase 13.4% to nearly $10 billion

Abbott fourth quarter worldwide sales increase 13.4% to nearly $10 billion

Anacor, UCSF and NYBC collaborate to discover drug therapies for river blindness

Anacor, UCSF and NYBC collaborate to discover drug therapies for river blindness

Researchers synthesize iron compounds that inhibit growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Researchers synthesize iron compounds that inhibit growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Report documents increase in R&D projects on developing world diseases

Report documents increase in R&D projects on developing world diseases

Abbott third quarter worldwide sales increase 11.8% to $8.7 billion

Abbott third quarter worldwide sales increase 11.8% to $8.7 billion

U-M hopes to make concept of recycling pacemakers a life-saving reality

U-M hopes to make concept of recycling pacemakers a life-saving reality

Survey shows obstetricians, gynecologists unfamiliar with Chagas' disease

Survey shows obstetricians, gynecologists unfamiliar with Chagas' disease

ASTMH recommends FDA to include neglected infections of poverty in orphan classification

ASTMH recommends FDA to include neglected infections of poverty in orphan classification

Scientists identify compound to treat Chagas' disease

Scientists identify compound to treat Chagas' disease

Kids v Cancer applauds Senators for Creating Hope Act of 2010

Kids v Cancer applauds Senators for Creating Hope Act of 2010

Abbott second-quarter global sales increase 17.8% to $8.8 billion

Abbott second-quarter global sales increase 17.8% to $8.8 billion

TB Alliance, DNDi announce inter-PDP agreement to develop potential anti-TB compounds

TB Alliance, DNDi announce inter-PDP agreement to develop potential anti-TB compounds

Drug initiative granted rights to develop TB compounds for potential treatment of NTDs

Drug initiative granted rights to develop TB compounds for potential treatment of NTDs

Recent releases in global health

Recent releases in global health

Merck proposes to initiate Phase II proof-of-concept clinical study of posaconazole for chronic Chagas disease

Merck proposes to initiate Phase II proof-of-concept clinical study of posaconazole for chronic Chagas disease

Student receives two-year $46,000 fellowship to research on a parasite that causes Chagas' disease

Student receives two-year $46,000 fellowship to research on a parasite that causes Chagas' disease

ABBOTT PRISM Chagas test receives FDA approval

ABBOTT PRISM Chagas test receives FDA approval

New bacterial species in tsete fly may help control African sleeping sickness

New bacterial species in tsete fly may help control African sleeping sickness

FDA approves Abbott's CREON sNDA including dosing guidance for treating EPI due to CP, pancreatectomy

FDA approves Abbott's CREON sNDA including dosing guidance for treating EPI due to CP, pancreatectomy

FDA approves Abbott Prism Chagas test to screen blood, tissue and organ donors for T. cruzi

FDA approves Abbott Prism Chagas test to screen blood, tissue and organ donors for T. cruzi