Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
versión impresa ISSN 0001-3765
FERREIRA, Luiz F.; JANSEN, Ana M. y ARAUJO, Adauto. Chagas disease in prehistory. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2011, vol.83, n.3, pp.1041-1044. Epub 01-Jul-2011. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652011005000013.
The classical hypothesis proposes that Chagas disease has been originated in the Andean region among prehistoric people when they started domesticating animals, changing to sedentary habits, and adopting agriculture. These changes in their way of life happened nearly 6,000 years ago. However, paleoparasitological data based on molecular tools showed that Trypanosoma cruzi infection and Chagas disease were commonly found both in South and North American prehistoric populations long before that time, suggesting that Chagas disease may be as old as the human presence in the American continent. The study of the origin and dispersion of Trypanosoma cruzi infection among prehistoric human populations may help in the comprehension of the clinical and epidemiological questions on Chagas disease that still remain unanswered.
Palabras clave : ancient DNA; Chagas disease; mummies; paleoepideiology; paleoparasitology; Trypanosoma cruzi.