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Front Biosci. 2004 Jan 1;9:706-23.

Parasitic diseases of the heart.

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Departments of Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.


The following chapter is one of a series of chapters in the volume entitled Infections of the Myocardium appearing in Frontiers in Bioscience. The full table of contents can be found at In this chapter, we review several parasitic infections involving the myocardium and pericardium. The most widely studied parasitic infection affecting the heart is Chagas' disease or American trypanosomiasis. In this chapter we describe issues relating to Chagas' disease not covered in detail in other chapters. African trypanosomiasis may also cause a myocarditis. The protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica rarely causes a pericarditis while Toxoplasma gondii may cause myocarditis, usually in immunocompromised hosts. The larval forms of the tapeworms Echinococcus and Taenia solium may cause space-occupying lesions of the heart. Severe infection with the nematode Trichinella spiralis may cause myocarditis.

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