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.
New multicomponent reactions to develop active compounds against sleeping sickness

New multicomponent reactions to develop active compounds against sleeping sickness

GMU’s early-detection urine test works for Lyme disease, study shows

GMU’s early-detection urine test works for Lyme disease, study shows

Innovative HIV vaccine candidate generates protection against repeated AIDS virus exposures

Innovative HIV vaccine candidate generates protection against repeated AIDS virus exposures

Humans can tolerate parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis

Humans can tolerate parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis

UI researchers remind US doctors to watch for two diseases that could be passed from mother to child

UI researchers remind US doctors to watch for two diseases that could be passed from mother to child

UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Janssen R&D partner to identify new therapeutic targets for Chagas disease

UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Janssen R&D partner to identify new therapeutic targets for Chagas disease

ISHLT issues new list of criteria to determine patient eligibility for heart transplant

ISHLT issues new list of criteria to determine patient eligibility for heart transplant

Study reveals promising mechanism for attacking Ebola virus

Study reveals promising mechanism for attacking Ebola virus

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