Infection with T. cruzi and Progression to Cardiomyopathy: What is the Evidence and is the Tide Finally Turning Around?
Chagas disease also known as American trypanosomiasis has been haunting the American continent for centuries. Evidence of Trypanosoma cruzi has been tracked back to mummified tissues from the Chinchorro Indians from the Atacama desert almost 9000 years ago1. However, the clinical description of the disease did not appear in the scientific literature until 1909 when Carlos Chagas brilliantly made the connection between the acute parasitic infection and the clinical manifestations2. It seems perplexing that after more than a century, we are still just starting to pay attention to this devastating disorder, to the extent of identifying Chagas as the "most neglected of neglected diseases"3. Some researchers have even gone to the extreme of suggesting that Chagas disease may be the "New HIV/AIDS of the Americas"4, opening a vivid debate among researchers on both sides5,6. Regardless of the media attention spurred by these contentious views there is one undeniable truth, Chagas disease remains a largely neglected disorder that in the XXIst century has migrated to non-endemic areas triggering resurgence in research of this fascinating disorder.
- Received January 31, 2013.
- Accepted February 4, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013, Circulation