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.
Simple diagnostic test can help fight deadly sleeping sickness

Simple diagnostic test can help fight deadly sleeping sickness

Researchers set up citizen science program to gain insight into triatomine insects in Texas

Researchers set up citizen science program to gain insight into triatomine insects in Texas

Experts call on U.S. and Mexican governments to reduce risk of Chagas disease

Experts call on U.S. and Mexican governments to reduce risk of Chagas disease

Glycan binding proteins modify parasite infection in cells of the heart muscle

Glycan binding proteins modify parasite infection in cells of the heart muscle

UTHealth's Paula Stigler-Granados awarded grant to conduct outreach, education on Chagas disease in South Texas

UTHealth's Paula Stigler-Granados awarded grant to conduct outreach, education on Chagas disease in South Texas

Deadly parasite that causes Chagas disease widespread in Texas bugs

Deadly parasite that causes Chagas disease widespread in Texas bugs

DNDi announces successful completion of SCYX-7158 Phase I study for treatment of sleeping sickness

DNDi announces successful completion of SCYX-7158 Phase I study for treatment of sleeping sickness

DNDi unveils plans to better respond to the needs of neglected patients

DNDi unveils plans to better respond to the needs of neglected patients

Benznidazole has significant antiparasitic activity, but does not reduce progression of Chagas cardiomyopathy

Benznidazole has significant antiparasitic activity, but does not reduce progression of Chagas cardiomyopathy

Cepheid, FIND unveil new portable molecular diagnostics system for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola

Cepheid, FIND unveil new portable molecular diagnostics system for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola

UC San Diego researchers receive NIH grant to test efficacy of Sanofi's pain drug in treating Chagas disease

UC San Diego researchers receive NIH grant to test efficacy of Sanofi's pain drug in treating Chagas disease

New ground-breaking initiative aims to find new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease

New ground-breaking initiative aims to find new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease

GHIT Fund expands investments in leishmaniasis, diagnostic tests

GHIT Fund expands investments in leishmaniasis, diagnostic tests

Southern Indiana to be oasis free from Lyme disease, finds Indiana University researcher

Southern Indiana to be oasis free from Lyme disease, finds Indiana University researcher

WHO calls on experts, social media to follow best practices in naming new human infectious diseases

WHO calls on experts, social media to follow best practices in naming new human infectious diseases

WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases

WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases

Cepheid, FIND announce receipt of CE-IVD status for Xpert HIV-1 Qual test

Cepheid, FIND announce receipt of CE-IVD status for Xpert HIV-1 Qual test

GHTC report confronts key challenge of renewing US leadership in global health technology

GHTC report confronts key challenge of renewing US leadership in global health technology

WHO urges affected countries to increase investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases

WHO urges affected countries to increase investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases

Penn, UGA scientists awarded new contract to develop genome database for microbial pathogens

Penn, UGA scientists awarded new contract to develop genome database for microbial pathogens