INTRODUCTIONi: - Trypanosoma cruzi content: - "Chagas disease treatment relies on the lengthy administration of benznidazole and/or nifurtimox, which have frequent toxicity associated. The disease, caused by the parasite " - ", is mostly diagnosed at its chronic phase when life-threatening symptomatology manifest in approximately 30% of those infected. Considering that both available drugs have variable efficacy by then, and there are over 6 million people infected, there is a pressing need to find safer, more efficacious drugs."
AREAS COVEREDi: - in vitro - in vivo content: - "We provide an updated view of the path to achieve the aforementioned goal. From state-of-the-art " - " and " - " assays based on genetically engineered parasites that have allowed high throughput screenings of large chemical collections, to the unfulfilled requirement of having treatment-response biomarkers for the clinical evaluation of drugs. In between, we describe the most promising pre-clinical hits and the landscape of clinical trials with new drugs or new regimens of existing ones. Moreover, the use of monkey models to reduce the pre-clinical to clinical attrition rate is discussed."
In addition to the necessary research on new drugs and much awaited biomarkers of treatment efficacy, a key step will be to generalize access to diagnosis and treatment and maximize efforts to impede transmission.