Research Topic

Unravelling T. cruzi Biology

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About this Research Topic

Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease and affects an estimated 8 million people; mainly in Latin America, where the disease is still a major public health problem. Furthermore, several hundred thousand T. cruzi -infected individuals are currently living in areas where the ...

Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease and affects an estimated 8 million people; mainly in Latin America, where the disease is still a major public health problem. Furthermore, several hundred thousand T. cruzi -infected individuals are currently living in areas where the disease is not endemic, particularly in the United States and Europe, as a result of population migration.

Options for drug treatment are limited and not fully effective. Vaccines are also not available. The genetic complexity of T. cruzi; with a number of gene families with hundreds of members and genes of unknown function, in addition to the absence of efficient techniques for genetic manipulation before the CRISPR era, have contributed to the slow progress in understanding the biology of this parasite.

This Research Topic seeks manuscripts that investigate the function of genes in T. cruzi. Of particular interest are studies that make use modern genetic tools, including the use of the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) - Cas9 (CRISPR-associated gene 9) system to engineer T. cruzi genome and modulate gene expression for the functional analysis of proteins.

We seek Original Research, Reviews, Brief Research Reports, and Mini Reviews that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. The use the CRISPR-Cas9 system to assess T. cruzi gene functions
2. Analysis of T. cruzi infection using bioluminescent and/or fluorescent parasites to evaluate the efficacy of drug treatment or the phenotype after gene deletion/overexpression
3. Molecular and functional characterization of novel T. cruzi membrane proteins
4. Other molecular approaches for genetic manipulation of T. cruzi used to evaluate gene function (overexpression, gene tagging, gene complementation, inducible expression and inducible knockdown)
5. Enzymatic assays for high-throughput drug screening
6. Research involving host-parasite interactions
7. Signal transduction during T. cruzi infection
8. The study of alternative pathways for the identification of new drug targets 9. Molecular approaches to the pathogenesis of Chagas disease


Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi, Genome Manipulation, Gene Function, CRISPR-Cas9, Bioluminescence Imaging


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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