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Int J Parasitol. 2009 Apr;39(5):615-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2008.09.015. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Trypanosoma cruzi in Brazilian Amazonia: Lineages TCI and TCIIa in wild primates, Rhodnius spp. and in humans with Chagas disease associated with oral transmission.

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  • 1Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


In this study, we provide phylogenetic and biogeographic evidence that the Trypanosoma cruzi lineages T. cruzi I (TCI) and T. cruzi IIa (TCIIa) circulate amongst non-human primates in Brazilian Amazonia, and are transmitted by Rhodnius species in overlapping arboreal transmission cycles, sporadically infecting humans. TCI presented higher prevalence rates, and no lineages other than TCI and TCIIa were found in this study in wild monkeys and Rhodnius from the Amazonian region. We characterised TCI and TCIIa from wild primates (16 TCI and five TCIIa), Rhodnius spp. (13 TCI and nine TCIIa), and humans with Chagas disease associated with oral transmission (14 TCI and five TCIIa) in Brazilian Amazonia. To our knowledge, TCIIa had not been associated with wild monkeys until now. Polymorphisms of ssrDNA, cytochrome b gene sequences and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns clearly separated TCIIa from TCIIb-e and TCI lineages, and disclosed small intra-lineage polymorphisms amongst isolates from Amazonia. These data are important in understanding the complexity of the transmission cycles, genetic structure, and evolutionary history of T. cruzi populations circulating in Amazonia, and they contribute to both the unravelling of human infection routes and the pathological peculiarities of Chagas disease in this region.

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