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Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi.

Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is commonly transmitted to humans and other mammals by an insect vector, the blood-sucking "kissing bugs" of the subfamily Triatominae. The World Health Organization estimates there are 7 to 8 million people infected with Chagas disease worldwide, mostly in Latin America.

The symptoms of Chagas disease vary over the course of an infection. In the early, acute stage (lasting approximately 2 months) , symptoms are mild, consisting of no more than a slight fever and local swelling at the site of infection. The initial acute phase is responsive to antiparasitic treatments, with 60–90% cure rates. After 4–8 weeks, individuals with active infections enter the chronic phase of Chagas disease, which is asymptomatic for the majority. 30% of patients suffer from cariac disorders and up to 10% suffer from digestive and neurological symptoms. 

The antiparasitic treatments also appear to delay or prevent the development of disease symptoms during the chronic phase of the disease, but 20–40% of chronically infected individuals will still eventually develop life-threatening heart and digestive system disorders. The currently available antiparasitic treatments for Chagas disease are benznidazole and nifurtimox, both of which produce adeverse side effects in 40% of patients.

Control strategies have mostly focused on eliminating the triatomine insect vector and preventing transmission from other sources. Blood screening is vital to prevent infection through transfusion and organ transplant. Chagas Disease research at CERID is focused on drug discovery/development. 

Source: World Health Organization