Benznidazole therapy during acute phase of Chagas disease reduces parasite load but does not prevent chronic cardiac lesions
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- Caldas, I.S., Talvani, A., Caldas, S. et al. Parasitol Res (2008) 103: 413. doi:10.1007/s00436-008-0992-6
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The goals of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of benznidazole (Bz) treatment in decreasing of the parasitic load during the acute phase of experimental Chagas disease and to analyze its influence in the development of cardiac chronic alterations in mice inoculated with drug-resistant Trypanosoma cruzi strains. Our results showed that the early Bz treatment (started at 4th day of infection) was efficient in reducing the parasite load in animals from both acute and chronic phase of the infection. Moreover, this reduction in the parasite load could not be associated with the intensity of the cardiac chronic lesions. The histopathological evaluation of cardiac tissue of Bz-treated mice showed three different patterns of response: (1) presence of a small number of inflammatory cells and fibrotic area similar to noninfected mice; (2) similar intensity of inflammatory infiltrate and smaller fibrotic area in relation to nontreated animals; (3) similar intensity of inflammatory infiltrated and fibrosis area among the Bz-treated and nontreated animals. Each specific pattern was obtained with different T. cruzi strain, suggesting that the pattern of the heart lesions in chronic phase of Bz-treated animals was T. cruzi strain dependent but not related with drug resistance levels.