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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2009, Article ID 484358, 6 pages
Review Article

Cell Therapy in Chagas Disease

1Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia, 22240-006 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Dominick P. Purpura, Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
3Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
4Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
5Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, 40296-70 Salvador, BA, Brazil
6Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA

Received 5 April 2009; Accepted 11 May 2009

Academic Editor: Louis M. Weiss

Copyright © 2009 Antonio C. Campos de Carvalho 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 parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is an important cause of cardiomyopathy in Latin America. In later stages chagasic cardiomyopathy is associated with congestive heart failure which is often refractory to medical therapy. In these individuals heart transplantation has been attempted. However, this procedure is fraught with many problems attributable to the surgery and the postsurgical administration of immunosuppressive drugs. Studies in mice suggest that the transplantation of bone-marrow-derived cells ameliorates the inflammation and fibrosis in the heart associated with this infection. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging reveals that bone marrow transplantation ameliorates the infection induced right ventricular enlargement. On the basis of these animal studies the safety of autologous bone marrow transplantation has been assessed in patients with chagasic end-stage heart disease. The initial results are encouraging and more studies need to be performed.