Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Chagas Disease, Gastrointestinal Aspects

  • Rafaela L. RegoEmail author
  • Ivanir Martins
  • Janice Mary Chicarino Coelho
  • Wilhermo Torres
Reference work entry


American trypanosomiasis


Chagas disease is an important parasitic disease resulting from the infection with Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), a hemoflagellate protozoa whose vectors are triatomine insects, a type of reduviid bug known as the “barber bug.” It is one of the most serious public health problems in South America. The name was a tribute to its discoverer, the Brazilian medical doctor, scientist, and researcher Carlos Chagas (1879–1934). The achievement of Chagas, considered unique in the history of medicine, is a milestone in the history of Brazilian science and health (

In 1909, Carlos Chagas, from The Oswaldo Cruz Institute, announced the discovery of a new human disease. Chagas was the only researcher so far to completely describe a new infectious disease: its pathogen, vector (Triatominae), host, clinical manifestations, and epidemiology. The discovery brought immediate prestige and projection to the young scientist, who received...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Andrade, Z. (2000). Patologia da doença de Chagas. In Z. Brener, Z. Andrade, & M. Barral-Netto (Eds.), Trypanosoma cruzi e doença de Chagas (2nd ed., pp. 201–230). Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara-Koogan.Google Scholar
  2. Andrade, S. G. (2005). Biodemas, zimodemas e esquisodemas: sua relação com a patologia da doença de Chagas. In J. R. Coura (Ed.), Dinâmica das Doenças Infecciosas e Parasitárias (pp. 621–637). Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara-Koogan.Google Scholar
  3. Andrade, S. G., Campos, R. F., Sobral, S. C., Magalhães, J. B., Guedes, R. S. P., & Guerreiro, M. L. (2006). Reinfections with strains of Trypanosoma cruzi, of different biodemes as a factor of aggravation of myocarditis and myositis in mice. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 39, 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bittencourt, A. L. (1963). Placenta chagásica e transmissão da doença de Chagas. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, 5, 62–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlier, V., & Torrico, F. (organizers). (2005). Colóquio Internacional Infección Congênita por Trypanosoma cruzi: desde los mecanismos de transmissión hasta una estratégia de diagnóstico y control. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 38(Suppl. II), 1–128.Google Scholar
  6. Carvalho, C. M., Silverio, J. C., da Silva, A. A. et al. (2012). Inducible nitric oxide synthase in heart tissue and nitric oxide in serum of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected rhesus monkeys: Association with heart injury. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(5), e1644. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001644. Epub 2012 May 8PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Coura, J. R. (2007). Chagas disease: what is known and what is needed – A background article. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 102(Suppl. I), 113–122.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Coura, J. R., & Dias, J. C. P. (2009). Epidemiology, control and surveillance of Chagas disease: 100 years after its discovery. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 104, 31–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Higuchi, M. L., Benvenuti, L. A., Martins, R. M., & Metzger, M. (2003). Pathophysiology of the heart in Chagas’ disease: Current status and new developments. Cardiovascular Research, 60, 96–107.Google Scholar
  10. Koberle, F. (1961). Patologia y anatomia patológica de la enfermedadde Chagas. Bol Ofic Sanit Panamer, 51, 404–428.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Lannes-Vieira, J. (2003). Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited CD8+ T cell-mediated myocarditis: Chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules as potential therapeutic targets to control chronic inflammation? Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 98, 299–304.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Teixeira, A. R. L., Nascimento, R. J., & Sturm, N. R. (2006). Evolution and pathology in Chagas disease – A review. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 101, 463–491.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafaela L. Rego
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivanir Martins
    • 2
  • Janice Mary Chicarino Coelho
    • 3
  • Wilhermo Torres
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Diagnóstico Laboratorial – Serviço de Anatomia PatológicaInstituto Português de Oncologia Lisboa Francisco Gentil, IPOLFG, E.P.ELisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Serviço de Anatomia PatológicaInstituto Nacional do Cancer Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrasil
  3. 3.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) Instituto de Pesquisa Clínica Evandro ChagasRio de JaneiroBrasil
  4. 4.Departamento de PatologiaUniversidade Federal FluminenseRio de JaneiroBrasil