Current concepts in immunoregulation and pathology of human Chagas disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Chagas disease is a complex ailment caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. It afflicts millions in Latin America. Years of studies have focused on the development of pathology in Chagas disease and recent studies have helped us understand the cellular mechanisms behind differential clinical evolution of Chagas disease.

Recent findings

We discuss recent findings concerning the cellular immune response in human Chagas disease focusing on immunoregulation and the development of pathology. We seek to put several findings into the context of a disease that initially controls an extreme and patent infection, and later progresses to a chronic phase marked by the presence (cardiac and digestive forms), or not (indeterminate form), of associated pathology.

Summary

Several theories exist to explain differential clinical evolution of Chagas disease. A coherent understanding of these theories will certainly aid in determining what combination of them approximates the true development of chagasic pathology. For achieving the goal of developing a successful therapy or intervention, it is critical that no theory be excluded at this point, but. Rather, rather that a thoughtful analysis and assimilation of the best components of each system into a central theory that best fits the reality of human Chagas disease is desirable.

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