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María Elena Bottazzi

Deputy Director, Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership

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La enfermedad de Chagas en Estados Unidos

Chagas Disease in the United States

Chagas disease caused by parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is now considered one of the major public health threats worldwide. This month of March, the 10th Chagas Disease Workshop is being held in Barcelona hosted by ISGlobal to highlight the impact of this disease especially in the so called “non-endemic countries”.

Non-endemic countries refer to locations in the world where the disease is transmitted by its importation from highly endemic Latin American countries. For this scientific event, the Revista Española de Salud Pública is preparing a series of supplemental publications to highlight the research and scientific information to be discussed during the workshop including the perspectives offered by the both the endemic and non-endemic countries.

For the United States (US), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 300,000 Chagas infected individuals and one study in 2012 has reported at least 23 autochthonous cases. Furthermore, recent economic predictions estimate that approximately 1 billion dollars are lost annually in healthcare management, indicating that there is an urgent need to prioritize how the US should expand their national efforts for disease surveillance, treatment and prevention efforts.

Recent efforts undertaken by the National School of Tropical Medicine (NSTM) at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas is now providing evidence that indeed transmission of Chagas disease occurs within the State of Texas and adjoining states in the US. Therefore, and in parallel with federal, state and local health programs, NSTM is advancing epidemiologic, clinical and research investigations to identify migratory Chagas cases versus locally transmitted cases. Our research laboratories are working on identifying not only the infected populations but also have embarked in the evaluation of diagnostic tools. Finally NSTM is spearheading the development of the first therapeutic vaccine against Chagas disease which could also identify novel biomarkers of disease. Moreover, in collaboration with a group of national and international non-profit institutions forming the Global Chagas Disease Coallition, we are undertaking a program for Chagas disease awareness and advocacy in order to promote the importance of Chagas disease both in the US and abroad.

X Workshop on Chagas Disease

On March 6 2014 Barcelona is hosting the X Workshop on Chagas Disease


This is a response to:

Janine Ramsey
Chagas

Treatment Access Barriers for Trypanosoma cruzi–Infected Patients in Mexico

[This post was written by Janine M. Ramsey, researcher and professor at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública in Mexico and Alba Valdez-Tah, anthropologist and doctoral student]  


Nota: Las personas que integran ISGlobal persiguen ideas innovadoras con total independencia. Las opiniones expresadas en este blog son, por tanto, a título personal y no necesariamente reflejan el posicionamiento institucional.