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.
Merck partners with non-profit for neglected diseases initiative

Merck partners with non-profit for neglected diseases initiative

Distributed drug discovery for neglected diseases

Distributed drug discovery for neglected diseases

Swine flu preoccupies world health leaders

Swine flu preoccupies world health leaders

Many neglected diseases lacking research funding

Many neglected diseases lacking research funding

Scans show immune cells intercepting parasites

Scans show immune cells intercepting parasites

New method for testing treatments for Chagas' disease

New method for testing treatments for Chagas' disease

New way to screen for chagas disease in children

New way to screen for chagas disease in children

Novel approach to discovering drugs for Chagas disease

Novel approach to discovering drugs for Chagas disease

Elimination of Chagas disease by 2010

Elimination of Chagas disease by 2010

WHO-based tropical disease research programme to focus on emerging diseases

WHO-based tropical disease research programme to focus on emerging diseases

WHO and sanofi-aventis expand programme to fight neglected tropical diseases

WHO and sanofi-aventis expand programme to fight neglected tropical diseases

Chagas' disease needs more research attention

Chagas' disease needs more research attention

Night blindness is a new clinical symptom of Chagas disease

Night blindness is a new clinical symptom of Chagas disease

Argentina and Brazil join forces to produce AIDS drugs

Argentina and Brazil join forces to produce AIDS drugs

Inexpensive blood test for major parasitic diseases

Inexpensive blood test for major parasitic diseases

Wellcome Trust awards £8.1 million to tackle tropical diseases

Wellcome Trust awards £8.1 million to tackle tropical diseases

Genomes of Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi sequenced

Genomes of Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi sequenced

Genome studies may help target new drugs to fight them

Genome studies may help target new drugs to fight them

Scientists sequence the genomes of three species of parasites responsible for causing diseases that kill or cripple millions

Scientists sequence the genomes of three species of parasites responsible for causing diseases that kill or cripple millions

State-of-the-art computer technology to tackle deadly diseases such as influenza

State-of-the-art computer technology to tackle deadly diseases such as influenza