Chagas heart disease (CHD), caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is the leading cause of infectious myocarditis in the world. The etiology of CHD is unclear and multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of the disease. This review describes the proposed mechanisms of CHD pathogenesis and evaluates the historical significance and evidence supporting each. Although the majority of CHD-related pathologies are currently attributed to parasite persistence in the myocardium and autoimmunity, there is strong evidence that CHD develops as a result of additive and even synergistic effects of several distinct mechanisms rather than one factor.
Keywords: Pathogenesis, Chages heart disease (CHD), infectious myocarditis, etiology, myocardium, autoimmunity, synergistic effects, family Trypanosomatidae, Trypanosomatidae cruzi
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