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Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.26 - Nº 2 - Jun. 2010

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Regarding the 100th Anniversary of the discovery of Chagas Disease. Chronological analysis of some milestones in the evolution of knowledge on the disease and its control, focusing on Uruguayan main scientific contributions

Rev Med Urug 2010; 26: 108-116
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


The 100th anniversary of the bright discovery by Brazilian Carlos Chagas was celebrated in 2009. The disease is named after him and it included the first finding and description of the hemoflagellate protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, its transmission mechanism by insects of the order Hemiptera, family Refuviidae and subfamily Triatominae (triatomines) usually called ?vinchuca? among us, the first acute clinical cases, as well as some o its main complication in the chronic stage. The importance of the disease,

also known as American Trypanosomiasis is evidenced by the fact it affects between 16 and 18 million people according to estimations calculates in 1991.

Therefore, it seemed to be worth remembering that remarkable finding, as well as carrying out a chronological analysis of some milestones in the evolution of knowledge on the disease, at the national and international level. Particularly, the study aims to conduct a chronological review of the different national scientific contributions, breaching an evident gap that will undoubtedly be useful for future generations interested in the topic.

Upon referring to the corresponding national and international references, it is evident that a lot has been

done in etiopathogenic, vectorial, clinical and diagnostic aspects, as well as in terms of triatomineus genetics, molecular biology, immunology, etc. However, efforts by the PAHO in connection with parasitosis control are specially worth standing out, the same as achievements until today, ins spite of what still needs to be improved. In our country we managed to interrupt vectorial transmission in 1998, thanks to the substantial work carried out by the Chagas Disease Program from the Ministry of Public Health and carried out with the valuable collaboration of the Parasitology Department of the School of Medicine, the city councils of the territories where the disease is endemic, the National Association of Public Education, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense.