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Chagas disease in the United States: a call for increased investment and collaborative research


Summary: Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a highly overlooked parasitic infection within the United States. It affects an estimated 300,000 individuals, often remaining asymptomatic for years before triggering severe complications such as cardiomyopathy in 30-40% of cases. While many contract the disease in Latin America, its transmission by local vectors in the southern U.S. presents a significant challenge. Unfortunately, limited access to diagnosis and treatment persists, alongside unresolved gaps in healthcare systems and disease pathogenesis. In this viewpoint, we discuss the need for focused research and public health initiatives, with U.S. research institutions playing a crucial role in developing new treatments and identifying biomarkers. Furthermore, investigating the genetic variations of T. cruzi between North and South America is vital for improving diagnostic and treatment strategies. Urgent action is required to implement national and local programs, bolstering healthcare responses and advancing research efforts.

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Journal Article
Agudelo Higuita NI
Beatty NL
Forsyth C
Henao-Martínez AF
Manne-Goehler J
Bourque D
Bowman NM
Carrion M
Coyle C
Dauphinais M
DeToy K
Gilman R
Hamer DH
Herick J
Hernandez S
Herrera C
Marcus R
Meymandi S
Nolan M
Reifler K
Showler A
Granados PS
Takyar A
Talaat K
Waters S
Wheelock A