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Revista Pan-Amazônica de Saúde

versão impressa ISSN 2176-6215versão On-line ISSN 2176-6223


MILES, Michael A.. The crucial role of the Instituto Evandro Chagas in Chagas disease research. Rev Pan-Amaz Saude [online]. 2016, vol.7, n.esp, pp.43-54. ISSN 2176-6215.

This review is written as a tribute to the fundamental role that the Instituto Evandro Chagas (IEC) has played in research on Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease and in thanks for the generous support while the author was based at the IEC. A brief history of Chagas disease is given and of early work at the IEC. There follows an account of the discovery, in Bahia State, Brazil, of the remarkable genetic diversity of T. cruzi. The core of the review summarises: research achievements at the Institute on the transmission cycles and molecular epidemiology of T. cruzi, including triatomine vectors and mammalian hosts in the Brazilian Amazon basin; the proof that T. cruzi has an extant capacity for genetic exchange, and wide ranging international collaborations that were encouraged by the platform of research excellence established at the IEC. Detailed description of subsequent research on the molecular epidemiology of T. cruzi, and parallel research on Leishmania, is beyond the scope of this review but can be found in the referenced scientific literature. Despite the overall success of the Southern Cone initiative to control Triatoma infestans, challenges remain, such as persistent transmission in the Gran Chaco region. There has been astonishing research progress in molecular genetics and comparative genomics. In the author's opinion, there is scope for the IEC to play a renewed role in Chagas disease research, subject to funded international exchange programmes and unimpeded exchange of reagents, such that the latest research methods may be applied to obtain a deeper understanding of the survival and behaviour of T. cruzi in its natural hosts and triatomine vector species.

Palavras-chave : Chagas Disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; Triatominae; Genetic Variation; Molecular Biology..

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