The aetiology and clinical manifestations of Chagas disease have been understood practically since the disease was first described, but little research has been conducted on pathogenic mechanisms, early diagnosis and treatment options. Consequently, heart disease is usually diagnosed only when it has reached an advanced and irreversible stage when the efficacy of possible treatments is limited. Furthermore, no early markers of post-treatment cure have been identified that could facilitate clinical follow-up and clinical trials of new drugs.
To address these issues, we are pursuing four interrelated lines of research:
- Markers of progression and cure of Chagas disease following antiparasitic treatment.
- Pathogenesis of cardiac involvement and serologic markers for early diagnosis.
- Cardiac involvement and the role of echocardiography in early diagnosis.
- Molecular diagnostic methods and the role of Trypanosoma cruzi genotypes in the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.