What causes transfusion-transmitted Chagas disease?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, which is generally spread by the bite of the reduviid bug. The illness has an acute and a chronic form. The acute form principally affects children in endemic areas, including Central and South America and parts of Mexico, and manifests as fever, lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly. In severe cases, myocarditis and encephalitis may occur. The disease may take a more indolent course, however, and after a latency period of decades, it can present with serious end-organ damage, causing chagasic cardiomyopathy and megaesophagus. [66, 67, 68]

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