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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Abstract

MACEDO, Andréa M; MACHADO, Carlos R; OLIVEIRA, Riva P  and  PENA, Sérgio DJ. Trypanosoma cruzi: genetic structure of populations and relevance of genetic variability to the pathogenesis of chagas disease. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2004, vol.99, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 0074-0276.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762004000100001.

Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, has a variable clinical course, ranging from symptomless infection to severe chronic disease with cardiovascular or gastrointestinal involvement or, occasionally, overwhelming acute episodes. The factors influencing this clinical variability have not been elucidated, but it is likely that the genetic variability of both the host and the parasite are of importance. In this work we review the the genetic structure of T. cruzi populations and analyze the importance of genetic variation of the parasite in the pathogenesis of the disease under the light of the histotropic-clonal model.

Keywords : Trypanosoma cruzi; genetic variability; mismatch repair; population structure; pathogenesis; Chagas disease.

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