Training, Chagas

The XI Workshop on Imported Chagas Disease has successfully concluded

The workshop, organized by ISGlobal in collaboration with the Mundo Sano Foundation, brought together close to 150 worldwide experts

17.03.2015

The XI Workshop on Imported Chagas Disease took place last Friday, March 13th, in the Casa del Mar, Barcelona, and was organized by ISGlobal in collaboration with the Mundo Sano Foundation. The workshop, that has become an international reference in the field, was inaugurated by Dr. Joaquim Gascon, director of the ISGlobal Chagas Initiative, Mr. Ignacio Uriarte, International Cooperation director at the General Ibero-American Secretariat (SEGIB), and Dr. Mireia Jané, subdirector of Sueveillance and Response to Emergencies, at the Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya. Mr. Uriarte reaffirmed the organization's commitment in establishing an Ibero-American platform for the fight against Chagas, a "silent and silenced" disease that must become a priority for the region. As for Dr. Jané, she spoke of the Congenital Chagas Disease Detection programme in Catalonia and underlined that it is an important public health strategy that can be improved with further support.  

The first presentation was given by Dr. Marin-Neto of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who pointed out that parasite persistence in the affected organs is the main mechanism underlying cardiac damage in patients with the disease. Later, Dr. Oscar Noya, from the University of Venezuela, presented evidence for an increase in oral transmission of Chagas Disease, particularly among urban zones of endemic countries, due to the invasion of dwellings by the disease vector. He cited some examples of ‘distal transmission' such as fruit juices contaminated by the vector that were consumed far from the infection site. 

The workshop programme also included several oral communications, two clinical cases and a round table on strategies for developing vaccines against T. cruzi, the parasite that causes the disease. The event was closed by Dr. Joaquim Gascon and the ISGlobal director, Dr. Antoni Plasència.

The Ibero-American Network NHEPACHA organized a work session on the following day in order to discuss protocols of future multicentre trials and barriers in access to disease diagnosis and treatment. The network, constituted by 13 research groups from 9 countries and funded by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), aims to develop new tools and biomarkers for disease diagnosis, treatment and management.