Tropenkrankheiten

Chagas-Krankheit

Chagas ist eine Infektionskrankheit, die durch einzellige Parasiten verursacht und durch blutsaugende Käfer auf den Menschen übertragen wird.  Mit Globalisierung und Migration entwickelt sich die Chagas-Krankheit jedoch zunehmend von einer auf Lateinamerika beschränkten endemischen Krankheit zu einer globalen Bedrohung für die Gesundheitssysteme in Nordamerika und Europa.

How dangerous is Chagas disease?

If untreated infection with Chagas disease is lifelong, can cause severe organ damage and is then life-threatening.

 

Who is at risk?

In endemic countries (see below), people living in rural areas are at greatest risk for acquiring infection.Infection acquired from blood products, organ transplantation, or congenital transmission from infected mother to her newborn continues to pose a major threat.

 

How many people are affected by Chagas disease?

About 6 to 8 million people worldwide are estimated to be infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Due to the lack of disease-specific symptoms, most of them do not know about their infection until many years later when serious organ symptoms occur.

An adequate dispersable formulation of nifurtimox is a big step forward toward achieving the goal of treating all infected children.
Dr. Jaime Altcheh
,
Head of the Department of Parasitology and Chagas Disease at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children's Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Coordinating Investigator of the phase III CHICO trial

Where is Chagas disease found?

Chagas disease is found mainly in endemic areas of 21 Latin American countries. Because of large-scale population movements from rural to urban areas and migration to other regions of the world, Chagas disease has been increasingly detected in the cities of Latin America, and previously non-endemic countries like the United States of America, Canada, many European and some Western Pacific countries.

 

How do people get Chagas disease?

Chagas disease is not transmitted from person-to-person but mainly through vector-borne transmission. The insect vectors are called triatomine bugs. After they bite and ingest blood, they defecate on the person. The person can become infected if Trypanosoma cruzi parasites in the bug feces enter the body through mucous membranes or breaks in the skin. The unsuspecting, sleeping person may accidentally scratch or rub the feces into the bite wound, eyes, or mouth. 

 

People also can become infected through:

  • congenital transmission from an infected pregnant woman to her baby

  • blood transfusion

  • organ transplantation

  • consumption of uncooked food contaminated with feces from infected bugs

  • accidental laboratory exposure 

 

General considerations regarding COVID-19 for people with Chagas disease can be found here.

Bayer-Beitrag

Bayer hat eines der beiden verfügbaren Medikamente zur Behandlung der Chagas-Krankheit entwickelt. Es enthält den Wirkstoff Nifurtimox, der auf der Liste der unentbehrlichen Arzneimittel der WHO steht. Seit 2000 unterstützt Bayer die WHO bei der Deckung eines jährlich steigenden Bedarfs. Bayer entwickelt derzeit eine neue Zusammensetzung, die für pädiatrische Patienten geeignet ist, und hat eine große klinische Studie an Kindern durchgeführt, um Daten zur Sicherheit und Wirksamkeit bei Kindern im Alter von 0 bis <18 Jahren zu erhalten.