An Updated View of the Trypanosoma cruzi Life Cycle: Intervention Points for an Effective Treatment
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AuthorMartín Escolano, Javier; Marín Sánchez, Clotilde; Rosales Lombardo, María José; Medina Carmona, Encarnación
American Chemical Society
Chagas diseaseDrug discoveryEvolution modelGenetic diversityLife cycleMorphological formsTarget product profileTropismTrypanosoma cruzi
ACS Infect. Dis. 2022, 8, 6, 1107–1115. [https://doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00123]
SponsorshipJunta de Andalucia E-BIO-464-UGR20; Junta de Andalucia (Proyectos I+D+I FEDER Andalucia 2014-2020); Alfonso Martin Escudero Foundation
Chagas disease (CD) is a parasitic, systemic, chronic, and often fatal illness caused by infection with the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The World Health Organization classifies CD as the most prevalent of povertypromoting neglected tropical diseases, the most important parasitic one, and the third most infectious disease in Latin America. Currently, CD is a global public health issue that affects 6−8 million people. However, the current approved treatments are limited to two nitroheterocyclic drugs developed more than 50 years ago. Many efforts have been made in recent decades to find new therapies, but our limited understanding of the infection process, pathology development, and long-term nature of this disease has made it impossible to develop new drugs, effective treatment, or vaccines. This Review aims to provide a comprehensive update on our understanding of the current life cycle, new morphological forms, and genetic diversity of T. cruzi, as well as identify intervention points in the life cycle where new drugs and treatments could achieve a parasitic cure.