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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 284729, 13 pages
Review Article

Genetic Susceptibility to Chagas Disease: An Overview about the Infection and about the Association between Disease and the Immune Response Genes

1Program of Biosciences Applied to Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, Maringa State University, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020900 Maringa, PR, Brazil
2Basic Health Sciences Department, Maringa State University, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020900 Maringa, PR, Brazil
3Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020900 Maringa, PR, Brazil

Received 29 March 2013; Revised 9 May 2013; Accepted 31 May 2013

Academic Editor: Enrique Medina-Acosta

Copyright © 2013 Christiane Maria Ayo 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.


Chagas disease, which is caused by the flagellate parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, affects 8–10 million people in Latin America. The disease is endemic and is characterised by acute and chronic phases that develop in the indeterminate, cardiac, and/or gastrointestinal forms. The immune response during human T. cruzi infection is not completely understood, despite its role in driving the development of distinct clinical manifestations of chronic infection. Polymorphisms in genes involved in the innate and specific immune response are being widely studied in order to clarify their possible role in the occurrence or severity of disease. Here we review the role of classic and nonclassic MHC, KIR, and cytokine host genetic factors on the infection by T. cruzi and the clinical course of Chagas disease.