Accelerating the Development of a Therapeutic Vaccine for Human Chagas Disease

Rationale and Prospects

Eric Dumonteil; Maria Elena Bottazzi; Bin Zhan; Michael J Heffernan; Kathryn Jones; Jesus G Valenzuela; Shaden Kamhawi; Jaime Ortega; Samuel Ponce de Leon Rosales; Bruce Y Lee; Kristina M Bacon; Bernhard Fleischer; BT Slingsby; Miguel Betancourt Cravioto; Roberto Tapia-Conyer; Peter J Hotez


Expert Rev Vaccines. 2012;11(9):1043-1055. 

In This Article


Chagas disease is a leading cause of heart disease affecting approximately 10 million people in Latin America and elsewhere worldwide. The two major drugs available for the treatment of Chagas disease have limited efficacy in Trypanosoma cruzi-infected adults with indeterminate (patients who have seroconverted but do not yet show signs or symptoms) and determinate (patients who have both seroconverted and have clinical disease) status; they require prolonged treatment courses and are poorly tolerated and expensive. As an alternative to chemotherapy, an injectable therapeutic Chagas disease vaccine is under development to prevent or delay Chagasic cardiomyopathy in patients with indeterminate or determinate status. The bivalent vaccine will be comprised of two recombinant T. cruzi antigens, Tc24 and TSA-1, formulated on alum together with the Toll-like receptor 4 agonist, E6020. Proof-of-concept for the efficacy of these antigens was obtained in preclinical testing at the Autonomous University of Yucatan. Here the authors discuss the potential for a therapeutic Chagas vaccine as well as the progress made towards such a vaccine, and the authors articulate a roadmap for the development of the vaccine as planned by the nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership and Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in collaboration with an international consortium of academic and industrial partners in Mexico, Germany, Japan, and the USA.