Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is endemic in Central and South America. Despite the implementation of vector control programmes and screening measures in blood banks and maternity wards, an estimated 8 million people are infected with T. cruzi.
In the past, this parasitic disease mainly affected poor people living in the rural areas, but it has become increasingly common in towns and cities due to rural-urban migration. Prevalence is also increasing in countries that receive immigrants from Chagas disease–endemic areas. In Spain alone, an estimated 50,000 to 68,000 people are infected with T. cruzi.
This edition of the Chagas Workshop will review and update current knowledge, and discuss breakthroughs in our understanding of the parasite's different genotypes and their relationship with the immune response, pathophysiology, clinical presentations of the disease and the variation in response to treatment.