Chagas' disease


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Chagas' disease,

disease of South and Central America caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. It usually affects children and young adults and is transmitted by the feces of infected insects, typically the assassin bugassassin bug,
common name for members of the family Reduviidae, one of the largest and most varied groups belonging to the order Hemiptera (suborder Heteroptera). Assassin bugs are generally brownish to black, medium-sized to large insects, with heads that are elongate and
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. Most of those infected have mild symptoms, such as fever and swelling and redness around the eyes, but from 10% to 30% develop chronic disease that may result in serious or fatal inflammation of the brain and heart tissues; persons with the disease also have an increased risk for stroke as they age as a result of heart problems. There is no vaccine and no satisfactory treatment. The incidence of Chagas' disease in the United States has increased since the 1970s, possibly because of increased immigration from Mexico and Central America, where the incidence is very high. In immunosuppressed patients (see AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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) Chagas' disease can form a mass in the cranial cavity that mimics a tumor, presumably because the lymphocytes that guard against the parasite are the same that are depleted by the AIDS virus. See also trypanosometrypanosome
, microscopic, one-celled protozoan of the genus Trypanosoma, typically living as an active parasite in the bloodstream of a vertebrate; hundreds of species are known. A trypanosome is long and pointed and possesses a flagellum.
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Chagas' disease

[′shäg·əs di‚zēz]
(medicine)
An acute and chronic protozoan disease of humans caused by the hemoflagellate Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) cruzi. Also known as South American trypanosomiasis.
References in periodicals archive ?
For obstetricians/gynecologists in the United States, increased awareness around Chagas' disease is important because many newly diagnosed patients are identified among blood donors who are women of child-bearing age and at risk of transmitting the infection to their newborns.
Chagas' disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, critically damages the heart, stomach, and brain.
1% below 100% that it falls will mean another 13,250 units that are false positives and will require follow-up investigation for Chagas' disease.
Aetiological treatment of congenital Chagas' disease diagnosed and monitored by the polymerase chain reaction.
Food and Drug Administration licensed the first blood-screening test for Chagas' disease, some 241 blood donations in the United States have tested positive, indicating donor exposure to the parasite known to cause this serious and potentially fatal parasitic infection, according to data released today at the annual meeting of American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).
People contract Chagas' disease via infection with Trypanosoma cruzi.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed its new test designed to screen blood donations for exposure to Chagas' disease -- a tropical, parasitic disease that originates in South America.
Teixeira and his team analyzed the DNA of 13 adults with heart damage from Chagas' disease.
Tests under joint study and research include Chagas' disease, Tuberculosis, Clostridium Botulinum toxin and Ricin toxin.
Blood banking (safety): seroepidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi, etiologic agent of Chagas' disease, in US blood donors.
Chagas' disease primarily affects the nervous system and heart, causing severe neurological disorders as well as swelling or denervation of nervous tissue in the heart, colon and esophagus.
The researchers report in the June Journal of Pathology that 11 of the 29 Chagas patients had evidence of so-called membrane-attack-complex proteins in their heart cells, whereas only 1 of the 22 people who hadn't been infected with Chagas' disease had the immune proteins in heart cells.