- Chagas' disease
- Cha·gas' disease 'shäg-əs-(əz-) n a tropical American disease that is caused by a protozoan of the genus Trypanosoma (T. cruzi) transmitted by reduviid bugs esp. of the genus Triatoma, that has an acute form primarily affecting children and marked by chagoma, fever, edema, enlargement of the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes, and sometimes by myocarditis, and that also has a chronic form which may or may not follow an acute episode, progresses over time, and is marked esp. by cardiac and gastrointestinal complications (as myocarditis, ventricular hypertrophy, megacolon, or megaesophagus)Chagas Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano (1879-1934)Brazilian physician. Early in his career Chagas undertook a malaria control campaign that used pyrethrum to disinfect households and that proved to be the first successful campaign against malaria in the history of Brazil. During 1909 and 1910 Chagas discovered and described the disease named after him. He discovered that it is caused by a species of trypanosome transmitted by bloodsucking reduviid bugs and that it is manifested by fever and edema and later by cardiac disturbances. He also described its epidemiology and some of its pathogenic hosts.
* * *a disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma. It is transmitted to humans when the trypanosomes, present in the faeces of nocturnal bloodsucking reduviid bugs, come into contact with wounds and scratches on the skin or the delicate internal tissues of the nose and mouth. The presence of the parasite in the heart muscles and central nervous system results in serious inflammation and lesions, which can prove fatal. The disease, limited to poor rural areas of South and Central America, is especially prevalent in children and young adults. It may be treated with nifurtimox. See also trypanosomiasis.C. Chagas (1879-1934), Brazilian physician
Medical dictionary. 2011.