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Trypanosomiasis, american
Essentials

Chagas' disease

Trypanosoma cruzi

 

The infectious agent of American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, is the haemoflagellate Trypanosoma cruzi.
Infection of humans occurs by contamination with freshly infected bug faeces of blood-sucking species of Reduviidae (kissing bugs) or by the bite of an infected bug:
- Conjunctivae
- Mucous membranes
- Skin wounds

Life cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi

T. cruzi undergoes morphogenesis during its life cycle. The trypomastigote and some intermediate forms with a flagellum are found in the peripheral blood. They invade host cells (cardiac and striated muscle fibres) and change to the amastigote form with a truncated flagellum.

The bugs become infected when they feed by biting on a parasitaemic human or animal. In the insect gut, the trypomastigotes change to promastigotes which multiply, change to infectious metacyclic trypomastigotes in the rectum and are then excreted with the faeces.

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Trypanosomiasis american Essentials