Parasite-vector interaction of chagas disease: A mini-review
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Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan of great importance to public health: it has infected millions of people in the world and is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, which can cause cardiac and gastrointestinal disorders in patients and may even lead to death. The main vector of transmission of this parasite is triatomine bugs, which have a habit of defecating while feeding on blood and passing the parasite to their own hosts through their feces. Although it has been argued that T. cruzi is not pathogenic for this vector, other studies indicate that the success of the infection depends on several molecules and factors, including the insect’s intestinal microbiota, which may experience changes as a result of infection that include decreased fitness. Moreover, the effects of infection depend on the insect species, the parasite strain, and environmental conditions involved. However, the parasite-vector interaction is still underexplored. A deeper understanding of this relationship is an important tool for discovering new approaches to T. cruzi transmission and Chagas disease.
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