Friday, 22 May 2015

Chagas Disease Vaccine Promise

Chagas disease (or American trypanosomiasis) causes fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and vomiting. As well as growing in cases in the U.S. (particularly in Texas), it is a major cause of heart disease and gastrointestinal dysfunction in widespread areas throughout Latin America.
Chagas disease is caused by the tiny worm-like parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is carried by so-termed Kissing Bugs (the insects tend to leave bites around the mouth, specially while people are sleeping at night). Additionally, there is some evidence that bed bugs can also carry the parasite.

Currently there is no vaccine available. Treatment tends to be with anti-parasitic drugs (for those fortunate enough to be able to afford them).

In a new study, researchers report on success in developing the vaccine in mice infected with the disease causing parasite. Research has been led by scientists based at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, USA.

For more details, see TLN.

Posted by Tim Sandle