Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease discovered over 100 years ago, is caused by the intracellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is most frequently associated with chronic cardiomyopathy and digestive disorders. Initial invasion of cells is followed by progressive inflammatory destruction of heart, muscles, nerves, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract tissue. Approximately 30% of patients progress to a chronic cardiomyopathy associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Seven to 10% of patients develop megasyndromes involving the GI tract, in particular, the esophagus and the colon. Results from several studies suggest that selenium (Se) deficiency could be an important factor in the pathogenesis of Chagas disease. In this opinion article, Se supplementation is proposed as an adjuvant therapy for treatment of chronic Chagas disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases