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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 981879, 11 pages
Review Article

Nutritional Status Driving Infection by Trypanosoma cruzi: Lessons from Experimental Animals

1Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Núcleo de Pesquisas e Estudos Ambientais e Biológicos, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Goiano—Campus Urutaí, Rodovia Geraldo Silva Nascimento km 2.5, 75790-000 Urutaí, GO, Brazil
2Laboratório de Doença de Chagas, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ciências Biológicas (NUPEB), Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP), 35400-000 Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil

Received 3 September 2010; Revised 30 November 2010; Accepted 17 February 2011

Academic Editor: R. Corrêa-Oliveira

Copyright © 2011 Guilherme Malafaia and André Talvani. 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.


This paper reviews the scientific knowledge about protein-energy and micronutrient malnutrition in the context of Chagas disease, especially in experimental models. The search of articles was conducted using the electronic databases of SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), PubMed and MEDLINE published between 1960 and March 2010. It was possible to verify that nutritional deficiencies (protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient malnutrition) exert a direct effect on the infection by T. cruzi. However, little is known about the immunological mechanisms involved in the relationship “nutritional deficiencies and infection by T. cruzi”. A hundred years after the discovery of Chagas disease many aspects of this illness still require clarification, including the effects of nutritional deficiencies on immune and pathological mechanisms of T. cruzi infection.