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Chagas Heart Disease Pathogenesis: One Mechanism or Many?

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Chagas heart disease (CHD), caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is the leading cause of infectious myocarditis in the world. The etiology of CHD is unclear and multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of the disease. This review describes the proposed mechanisms of CHD pathogenesis and evaluates the historical significance and evidence supporting each. Although the majority of CHD-related pathologies are currently attributed to parasite persistence in the myocardium and autoimmunity, there is strong evidence that CHD develops as a result of additive and even synergistic effects of several distinct mechanisms rather than one factor.





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Keywords: Chages heart disease (CHD); Pathogenesis; Trypanosomatidae cruzi; autoimmunity; etiology; family Trypanosomatidae; infectious myocarditis; myocardium; synergistic effects

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.
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