Environment, Interactions Between Trypanosoma cruzi and its Host, and Health
Pp. 156-167 (12)
Antonio Teixeira, Clever Gomes, Silene Lozzi, Mariana Hecht, Ana Rosa, Pedro Monteiro,, Ana Bussacos, Nadjar Nitz and Concepta McManus
An intricate epidemiological chain involving the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma
cruzi is discussed at the environmental level, and in terms of fine molecular interactions in
invertebrate and vertebrate hosts dwelling in different ecosystems. This protozoan has a complex,
genetically controlled plasticity, which confers adaptation to approximately 40 blood-suckling
triatomine species and to over 1,000 mammalian species, fulfilling diverse metabolic
requirements in its complex life-cycle. The T. cruzi infections are deeply embedded in countless
ecotypes, where they are difficult to defeat using the control methods that are currently available.
Many more field and laboratory studies are required to obtain data and information that may be
used for the control and prevention of T. cruzi infections and their various disease manifestations.
Emphasis should be placed on those sensitive interactions at the cellular and environmental levels
that could become selected targets for disease prevention. In the short term, new technologies for
social mobilization should be used by people and organizations working for justice and equality
through health information and promotion. A mass media directed program could deliver
education, information and communication needed to protect the inhabitants at risk of contracting
T. cruzi infections.
University of Brasília