Hernan Jose Carrasco
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Vaccines Vaccin
Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagasâ�?�? disease, discovered in 1909 by Carlos Chagas in Brazil. It is unclear the mechanism involved in the pathogenic process in humans, which is an accidental host in the life cycle of the parasite. T. cruzi shows a characteristic distribution of genotypes in the American Continent which seems to be associated with different clinical form of the disease in the chronic stage. No cure is available in the chronic stage and the only two drugs for the treatment of the disease in the acute stage, nifurtimox and benznidazol, have very low effectiveness with high toxicity and in many cases severe side effects. No vaccine exist to prevent the infection, meanwhile Chagasâ�?�? disease has become a worldwide threat due to blood transfusion or organ transplant from infected donors, as well as congenital transmission to the newborn from infected mother. In an endemic area of Venezuela we have found children infected with T. cruzi or with the no pathogenic T. rangeli but no children with co-infection. In the same area we have found a species of triatomine bug vector, Rhodnius prolixus, either infected with T. cruzi or T. rangeli, as well as co-infected with both species. On the other side, several recombinant proteins have shown partial protection against T. cruzi infection and also immune response in the chronic stage in murine models. Chagasâ�?�? disease remains killing people in Latin America and demands to join effort in the search for novel strategies against this worldwide threat.