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Disease Markers
Volume 2014, Article ID 793646, 6 pages
Research Article

The Role of Haptoglobin Genotypes in Chagas Disease

Laboratorio de Fisiopatología, Centro de Medicina Experimental “Miguel Layrisse”, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Kilómetro 11 Carretera Panamericana, Apartado 21827, Caracas 1020A, Venezuela

Received 12 March 2014; Accepted 11 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: George Perry

Copyright © 2014 Ninomar Mundaray Fernández and Mercedes Fernández-Mestre. 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.


Although the number of people infected with T. cruzi is on the rise, host genetic and immune components that are crucial in the development of the Chagas disease have been discovered. We investigated the frequency of polymorphisms in the gene encoding haptoglobin of patients with chronic Chagas disease. The results suggest that while the HP1-1 genotype may confer protection against infection and the development of chronic Chagas disease due to the rapid metabolism of the Hp1-1-Hb complex and its anti-inflammatory activity, the presence of HP2-2 genotype may increase susceptibility towards a chronic condition of the disease due to a slow metabolism of the Hp2-2-Hb complex, lower antioxidant activity, and increased inflammatory reactivity, which lead to cell damage and a deterioration of the cardiac function. Finally, correlations between HP genotypes in different age groups and cardiac manifestations suggest that HP polymorphism could influence the prognosis of this infectious disease. This study shows some of the relevant aspects of the haptoglobin gene polymorphism and its implications in the T. cruzi infection.