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Chagas' disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, which is spread by Reduviid
- American Trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease is an endemic disease mainly
in Central and South America
- it is a zoonosis caused by the flagellated protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi
(T. cruzi). In endemic areas, the primary route of transmission is vector
borne, usually by triatomine bugs of the Reduviidae family, subfamily
- may also be transmitted orally, parenterally, by accidental exposure
to contaminated material, by transplantation of organs and/or tissues,
via blood transfusion, and vertically from an infected mother to her newborn
- principal vectors involved in the transmission are grouped into three
genera (Triatoma, Rhodnius, and Panstrongylus) highlighting five species
with a specific geographical distribution:
- Triatoma infestans is found mainly in southern South America; Rhodnius
prolixus in the north of South America and Central America; Triatoma
dimidiata as the previous and in Mexico; Panstrongylus megistus in
the region from the south-western United States to central Argentina,
Brazil, and Paraguay; and Triatoma brasiliensis in Brazil and the
After implantation a nodule - a Chagoma - forms which may scar.
Annual incidence in Brazil is approximately 120,000 cases.
- Galvão C, Carcavallo R, Rocha DD, Jurberg J. A checklist of the current
valid species of the subfamily Triatominae Jeannel, 1919 (Hemiptera, Reduviidae)
and their geographical distribution, with nomenclatural and taxonomic notes:
Magnolia Press, 2003.
- Kirchhoff LV (1993). American trypanosomiasis (Chaga's disease) - a tropical
disease in the United States, NEJM, 329, 639-643.
- Control of Chaga's disease:report of WHO expert committee. WHO Tech Rep
Last reviewed 01/2018