Rare Medical News

Disease Profile

Chagas disease

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

#N/A

ICD-10

#N/A

Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Other names (AKA)

American trypanosomiasis; South American trypanosomiasis; New world trypanosomiasis

Categories

Parasitic diseases

Summary

Chagas disease is caused by the parasiteTrypanosoma cruzi. The triatomine bug, which can carry the parasite, most often bites a person's face and therefore is more commonly known as the "kissing bug". When a triatomine bug infected with Trypanosoma cruzi bites, it can leave behind infected waste which can be spread into the person's eyes, nose, or a wound. Chagas disease can also spread through contaminated food, a blood transfusion, a donated organ, or from mother to baby during pregnancy. Symptoms may include fever, flu-like symptoms, a rash, or swollen eyelid. Early symptoms usually go away without treatment, but can last a few weeks or months. However, if not treated in the early phase, the parasite can become active again years later. In fact, 20-30% of infected people will later develop serious problems affecting their heart, intestines, or espophagus. This risk is greater for those with a weakened immune system. Chagas disease is common in Latin America, but not in the United States.[1]

The two drugs used to treat Chagas disease are nifurtimox and benznidazole. On August 30, 2017, the FDA approved benznidazole to treat Chagas disease in children between the ages of 2 to 12 years old. Nifurtimox may also used to treat Chagas disease. Although not FDA approved, nifurtimox can be obtained for the treatment of Chagas disease in the United States through special CDC studies. Similarly, benznidazole is also available through special CDC studies for those with Chagas disease whose treatment is deemed necessary by their doctor but whose age falls outside FDA approval.[2]

Symptoms

This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
HPO ID
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Abdominal pain
Pain in stomach
Stomach pain

[ more ]

0002027
Arrhythmia
Abnormal heart rate
Heart rhythm disorders
Irregular heart beat
Irregular heartbeat

[ more ]

0011675
Autoimmune antibody positivity
0030057
Cardiomyopathy
Disease of the heart muscle
0001638
Cough
Coughing
0012735
Diarrhea
Watery stool
0002014
Dyspnea
Trouble breathing
0002094
Fever
0001945
Headache
Headaches
0002315
Hepatomegaly
Enlarged liver
0002240
Localized skin lesion
0011355
Lymphadenopathy
Swollen lymph nodes
0002716
Myalgia
Muscle ache
Muscle pain

[ more ]

0003326
Myocarditis
Inflammation of heart muscle
0012819
Pallor
0000980
Periorbital edema
0100539
Skin rash
0000988
Splenomegaly
Increased spleen size
0001744
Thromboembolism
0001907
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Abnormal large intestine physiology
0012700
Achalasia
0002571
Aganglionic megacolon
Enlarged colon lacking nerve cells
0002251
Congestive heart failure
Cardiac failure
Cardiac failures
Heart failure

[ more ]

0001635
1%-4% of people have these symptoms
Encephalitis
Brain inflammation
0002383
Peripheral neuropathy
0009830

Treatment

FDA-Approved Treatments

The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.

  • Benznidazole(Brand name: Benznidazole) Manufactured by Chemo Research, S.L.
    FDA-approved indication: For use in children ages 2 to 12 years old with Chagas disease
  • Nifurtimox(Brand name: LAMPIT) Manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals
    FDA-approved indication: Lampit® (nifurtimox) is an antiprotozoal medication indicated for use in pediatric patients (from birth to less than 18 years of age and weighing at least 2.5 kg) for the treatment of Chagas disease (American Trypanosomiasis) caused by Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi).
    National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal

Organizations

Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) produces guidelines and standards, helps countries to address public health issues, and supports and promotes health research. The WHO has developed a fact sheet on this condition.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chagas disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

        References

        1. Parasites American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease). Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). May 24, 2016; https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/.
        2. Antiparasitic Treatment. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). August 31, 2017; https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/health_professionals/tx.html.