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Expert Rev Mol Med. 2002 Mar 5;4(5):1-16.

Chagas disease: role of parasite genetic variation in pathogenesis.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioqumica e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antnio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, MG, 31270-970, Brazil.


Chagas disease, caused by the parasite protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is characterised by a variable clinical course, from symptomless cases to severe chronic disease with cardiac and/or gastrointestinal involvement. This variability has been attributed both to differences in the host response and to genomic heterogeneity of the parasite. This article reviews the evidence in favour of an important role of the genetic constitution of T. cruzi in determining the clinical characteristics of Chagas disease and discusses the basis of the 'Clonal-Histotropic Model' for the pathogenesis of this disease.

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