INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES BIOTECNOLOGICAS
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Methods and protocols
KARINA ANDREA GOMEZ; CARLOS ANDRES BUSCAGLIA
Año: 2019 p. 500
The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, alifelong, debilitating illness of major significance throughout Latin America, responsiblefor ~550,000 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). T. cruzi transmission primarily occurswhen humans are exposed to the contaminated feces of infected, hematophagous triatominevectors. However, different ecological and demographic issues converged in the last decadesto shift the epidemiological landscape for this disease, which is now recognized as anemerging worldwide threat to public health. Despite this enormous toll, solely two trypanocidaldrugs are currently available for chemotherapy, and both of them show severedeficiencies. The prospects for the development of an effective vaccine for prophylacticand/or therapeutic purposes, on the other hand, are still clouded by substantial scientificand socioeconomic challenges.This Methods in Molecular Biology book has the intention to provide a detailed descriptionof cutting-edge experimental methods for the study of different aspects of the basicbiology of this important parasite as well as its multiple and complex interactions with thehuman host. These methods have been recently developed or adapted to the T. cruzi systemby leading experts in the field of Chagas disease research. Topics raised along the 28 chaptersof this Methods in Molecular Biology book are very diverse and range from biochemical/genetic approaches to improve our understanding of T. cruzi diagnosis, treatment, andclinical evaluation to modern, powerful and high-throughput ?-omics? technologies for theexploration of pathogen- and/or infected host-specific molecular signatures. In addition,we have included two overview chapters dealing with the challenges and milestones encounteredduring assemblage of the T. cruzi genome, and with genome-wide mining strategiesaimed at identifying potential parasite antigens and vaccine candidates. Overall, theoverriding theme of this volume is that a comprehensive understanding of the biology ofT. cruzi as well as of the cross-talk between the parasite and the host immune response isessential for the development of effective diagnostic and treatment tools. From an academicstandpoint, this book also aimed to stress that, in addition to its medical and socioeconomicsignificance, T. cruzi remains an intriguing biological phenomenon.As editors, we express our gratitude to every one of the participating authors for theircooperation and enthusiasm in putting up this volume.We really enjoyed the opportunity towork with such an admired group of colleagues (and to ?patronize? them for a little while).Most importantly, we expect that students, active researchers, and clinicians who areinterested in the study of Chagas disease will find this book an indispensable source ofinformation.