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Trypanosomiasis News

Related terms: African Trypanosomiasis, American Trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease

Chagas Disease Parasite Prevalent in Texas 'Kissing Bugs'

Posted 22 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2015 – Blood-sucking insects commonly found in Texas are often carriers of a deadly parasite that causes Chagas disease, a new study finds. The bugs – also known as "assassin bugs" or "kissing bugs" – can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagas disease, said researchers from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Texas residents appear to be at much greater risk for this disease than previously thought, the researchers warned. "It surprised me that so many of them were carrying the parasite. I was expecting to have some, but this is quite high," study leader Rosa Maldonado, an associate professor of biological sciences at UTEP, said in a university news release. "Doctors usually don't consider Chagas disease when they diagnose patients, so they need to be aware of its prevalence here." Chagas disease is spread when insects carrying T. cruzi ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Helminthic Infection, Worms and Flukes, Trypanosomiasis

Chagas Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice

Posted 8 May 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 – An experimental vaccine provides mice with long-lasting protection against Chagas disease, which can lead to death from heart and intestinal complications in people, researchers report. Chagas disease is widespread in most Latin America countries and is an emerging disease in the United States. A parasite called T. cruzi causes the infection. There are no vaccines or treatments for Chagas disease, which is transmitted by triatomine bugs, often called "kissing bugs." Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed the T. cruzi genome and identified three proteins that showed strong potential for vaccine development. "The proteins become antigens once the body mounts an immune response that creates antibodies," Shivali Gupta, postdoctoral fellow in the department of microbiology and immunology, said in a university news release. "We found ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Trypanosomiasis

Bedbugs Could Be Potential New Source of Tropical Disease in U.S.

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2014 – Until recently, insect-transmitted Chagas disease was found mainly in Latin America and South America, but it has made its way to the United States over the past few years. The potentially fatal illness is typically transmitted via the bite of the "kissing bug," which feeds on the faces of humans at night. And now a new study suggests that common bedbugs might be carriers as well. "We've shown that the bedbug can acquire and transmit the parasite. Our next step is to determine whether they are, or will become an important player in the epidemiology of Chagas disease," study senior author Michael Levy, assistant professor in the department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, said in a university news release. According to background information from the researchers, Chagas disease affects 6 million to 8 ... Read more

Related support groups: Trypanosomiasis

'Kissing Bug' Now Spreading Tropical Disease in U.S.

Posted 4 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 – Residents of the southern United States may be at risk for a parasitic infection that can lead to severe heart disease and death, three new studies suggest. Chagas disease, which is transmitted by "kissing bugs" that feed on the faces of humans at night, was once thought limited to Mexico, Central America and South America. That's no longer the case, the new research shows. "We are finding new evidence that locally acquired human transmission is occurring in Texas," said Melissa Nolan Garcia, a research associate at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the lead author of two of the three studies. Garcia is concerned that the number of infected people in the United States is growing and far exceeds the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's estimate of 300,000. In one pilot study, her team looked at 17 blood donors in Texas who tested positive for ... Read more

Related support groups: Trypanosomiasis

Insects Behind Chagas Disease Are Feeding on Humans in the U.S.

Posted 20 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 20 – Insects that are part of a family of bugs that transmit Chagas disease are well-established and feeding on human blood in certain regions of the United States, a new study finds. What remains a mystery, however, is why the insects infect millions in Central and South America with Chagas disease, a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening digestive and heart problems, yet few such cases have been documented in the United States. So far, researchers have documented only seven cases of Chagas in the United States. "The basic message is that the bug is out there, it's feeding on humans, and it carries the parasite, so there may be greater potential for humans to have the disease in the United States than previously thought," Lori Stevens, a biologist at the University of Vermont, said in a university news release. "Very likely, with climate change they will ... Read more

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