Research Topic

Pathogenesis of Trypanosomes

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Trypanosomes are unicellular parasitic protozoa belonging to the Trypanosoma Genus of the Trypanosomatidae Class (Protozoa Kingdom). Different trypanosomes species infect a variety of vertebrates, including animals and humans and can be transmitted by insects. Trypanosomes cause ailments of great social and ...

Trypanosomes are unicellular parasitic protozoa belonging to the Trypanosoma Genus of the Trypanosomatidae Class (Protozoa Kingdom). Different trypanosomes species infect a variety of vertebrates, including animals and humans and can be transmitted by insects. Trypanosomes cause ailments of great social and economic impact such as Chagas’ disease and Sleeping sickness. Chagas’ disease transmission involves passage of Trypanosoma cruzi from triatomine insect vectors to mammalian hosts and is endemic from Mexico into Central and South America. Recently, it has been detected worldwide mainly due to human migration and poor control policies in countries outside Latin America. The acute phase of the disease may be asymptomatic or present intense fever, edema at the bite site and reversible myocarditis. Patients often enter the chronic phase and in 20-30% of the cases may present, after 20-30 years, cardiac and/or digestive damage.

Although parasite persistence is required for tissue damage, autoimmune responses may also contribute to the pathogenesis. Tse-tse flies transmit Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense that cause African trypanosomiasis in humans and Nagana in cattle and although cases have declined in recent years, infected patients require specialized medical care. Occasional infections of humans with T. evansi, T lewisi, T. brucei brucei and, T. congolense have also been described in humans but little is known on their impact to public health. Although the manifestations of the diseases are widely variable, innovative knowledge on the unveiling of the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are needed in order to improve control actions and therapeutic practices.

Pathogenesis of Trypanosomes as a Research Topic from Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, will provide novel insights into pathogenesis, host-parasite interactions, intracellular traffic, host immunity, drug discovery, control, vaccine updates, epidemiology and biological aspects of Trypanosomes that cause human and animal infections. The Research Topic will offer opportunities to update the current scenario and to promote debates on the subject. We understand that with these goals, the Research Topic may contribute to the orchestration of future researches to better comprehend the biology of these important pathogens.


Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, Trypanosomama brucei rhodesiense, host-parasite interactions, pathogenesis


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