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Biology and modes of transmission

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Transmission to mammals, including humans, occurs when faeces of reduviid bugs that contain infective organisms contaminate a bite, conjunctiva or mucosal surface. Local intracellular multiplication occurs.

Organisms are released as host cells die. Haematogenous spread occurs and new cells are parasitized.

A cycle is thus established alternating asynchronously between intracellular multiplying forms and nondividing but infective forms that circulate in the bloodstream. The cycle is completed when the reduviid bugs then ingest blood from an infected mammal and the cycle can then start again.

Infection may occur from mother to fetus which results in spontaneous abortion.

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