Chagas Disease! A New HIV – AIDS Replica
Like AIDS, Chagas is hard to detect and has a long incubation period before symptoms emerge, the study said, according to the New York Times. Experts have dubbed it the “new AIDS of the Americas.” Chagas disease is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. T. cruzi is commonly transmitted to humans and other mammals by an insect vector, the blood-sucking “kissing bugs” of the subfamily Triatominae (family Reduviidae) most commonly species belonging to the Triatoma, Rhodnius, and Panstrongylus genera.
In new research, it was suggested that Charles Darwin (one of the greatest medical mysteries) death may have been caused by Chagas Disease. A parasitic infection called Chagas Disease has similarities to the early spread of HIV, according to research published recently in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is an illness that can cause serious heart and stomach problems. It is caused by a parasite. Chagas disease is common in Latin America, especially in poor, rural areas. It can also be found in the United States, most often in people who were infected before they moved to the U.S.
Chagas is usually transmitted from the bite of blood-sucking insects that release a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi into the victim’s bloodstream. The parasite can eventually make its way to the heart, where it can live and multiply.
Infections often stay dormant for years and then emerge as heart arrhythmias and heart failure. About a quarter of victims develop enlarged heart or intestines that can lead to sudden death if they burst, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prevention Of Chagas Disease
There is currently no vaccine against Chagas disease and prevention is generally focused on fighting the vector Triatoma by using sprays and paints containing insecticides (synthetic pyrethroids), and improving housing and sanitary conditions in rural areas
Transmission Of Chagas Disease
In Chagas-endemic areas, the main mode of transmission is through an insect vector called a triatomine bug. A triatomine becomes infected with T. cruzi by feeding on the blood of an infected person or animal. During the day, triatomines hide in crevices in the walls and roofs. The bugs emerge at night when the inhabitants are sleeping. Because they tend to feed on people’s faces, triatomine bugs are also known as “kissing bugs”. After they bite and ingest blood, they defecate on the person. Triatomines pass T. cruzi parasites (called trypomastigotes) in feces left near the site of the bite wound.
Scratching the site of the bite causes the trypomastigotes to enter the host through the wound, or through intact mucous membranes, such as the conjunctiva. Once inside the host, the trypomastigotes invade cells, where they differentiate into intracellular amastigotes. The amastigotes multiply by binary fission and differentiate into trypomastigotes, which are then released into the bloodstream. This cycle is repeated in each newly infected cell. Replication resumes only when the parasites enter another cell or are ingested by another vector.
The disease was named after the Brazilian physician and infectologist Carlos Chagas, who first described it in 1909, but the disease was not seen as a major public health problem in humans until the 1960s, the outbreak of Chagas disease in Brazil in the 1920s went widely ignored.