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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 357948, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/357948
Review Article

Biologic and Genetics Aspects of Chagas Disease at Endemic Areas

1Department of Especial Education, UNESP São Paulo State University, 17525-900 Campus Marília, SP, Brazil
2Department of Biology, UNESP São Paulo State University, 15054-000 Campus São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
3Medicine/Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80045-0511, USA
4University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Research Center 1 South Tower, Mail Stop 8117, Aurora, CO 80045-0511, USA

Received 12 August 2011; Accepted 28 November 2011

Academic Editor: Luis E. Cuevas

Copyright © 2012 Marilanda Ferreira Bellini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The etiologic agent of Chagas Disease is the Trypanosoma cruzi, transmitted through blood-sucking insect vectors of the Triatominae subfamily, representing one of the most serious public health concerns in Latin America. There are geographic variations in the prevalence of clinical forms and morbidity of Chagas disease, likely due to genetic variation of the T. cruzi and the host genetic and environmental features. Increasing evidence has supported that inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are responsible for the generation of the inflammatory infiltrate and tissue damage. Moreover, genetic polymorphisms, protein expression levels, and genomic imbalances are associated with disease progression. This paper discusses these key aspects. Large surveys were carried out in Brazil and served as baseline for definition of the control measures adopted. However, Chagas disease is still active, and aspects such as host-parasite interactions, genetic mechanisms of cellular interaction, genetic variability, and tropism need further investigations in the attempt to eradicate the disease.