Emerging Chagas Disease

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The book focuses on a global problem challenging the health systems. Trypanosoma cruzi infections are transmitted by cone-nosed triatomine bugs, by blood transfusion and congenitally from mothers to ...
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Host-Parasite Biology of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

Pp. 83-93 (11)

Conrad L. Epting, Kevin M. Bonney, Cheryl L. Olson and David M. Engman


The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, is an intracellular pathogen in its vertebrate host. Here we review the process of cell invasion by T. cruzi from the perspectives of surface-surface interactions, intracellular signaling, contributions of donor membranes and the cytoskeleton, and discuss cytoplasmic entry and differentiation after escape from the parasitophorous vacuole. The chronic host-pathogen relationship depends upon immune evasion by the parasite and prevention of host apoptosis. Finally, we briefly discuss the development of cardiac autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.


Department of Pediatrics and Departments of Pathology and Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine