IMR Press / FBL / Volume 8 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/1058

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Genetic epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi infection and Chagas' disease

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1 Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA
2 Southwest National Primate Research Center, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227
3 Laboratório de Imunologia Celular e Molecular, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, FIOCRUZ, Av Augosto de Lima 1715, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2003, 8(5), 337–345;
Published: 1 May 2003

Chagas' disease is a leading cause of heart disease throughout Latin America, affecting an estimated 16 to 18 million individuals. Given the large pool of primary hosts for this zoonotic disease, complete eradication of Chagas' disease through control of the arthropod vector is unlikely. Research with both humans and animal models indicates that there is considerable variation in susceptibility to infection and disease outcome, and that this variation may be due in part to genetic factors. This paper summarizes the evidence for genetic control of susceptibility to Trypanosoma cruzi infection and severity of disease outcome in Chagas' disease. The lack of an effective treatment or prevention for Chagas' disease indicates the great potential for genetic studies, and particularly for genome scans of extended human pedigrees, to improve our understanding of the determinants of this complex disease, and ultimately to suggest new pathways to be targeted in drug development efforts.

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