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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


VERA DE BILBAO, N. Research on Chagas disease in the Department of Tropical Medicine from the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud. Years 1982-2009. 100 years after the discovery of Chagas disease. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2009, vol.7, n.2, pp.65-69. ISSN 1812-9528.

ABSTRACT The Department of Tropical Medicine of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud has worked since the beginning (1982) in the research of Chagas disease performing serological studies, search of an animal model and control of Chagas disease via housing improvement. The department has an animal care facility, including primates and mice, the latter used in the maintenance of Trypanosoma cruzi reference strains, as well as a colony of triatomine bugs. New research lines have been included such as the search of natural products with activity against T. cruzi and Leishmania sp. In the vectors area, studies about vectors ecology and distribution dynamics have been performed as well as field assays for the search of attractants efficient for the early detection of reinfestation. In 1995, parasites were isolated in the first human case of visceral leishmaniasis in Paraguay since 1903, starting then diagnosis studies of canine visceral leishmaniasis with other departments of the institute giving the alert about the urbanization of the disease in the Great Asunción. The department has a strain bank, unique in Paraguay, and maintains strains for the serological diagnosis of Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. It also offers clinical, serological, radiological and cardiologic care services for chagasic patients. The department continues working in these pathologies currently considered as neglected diseases, joining efforts with national and international institutions to identify leader compounds for the treatment, contribute to the knowledge of these diseases and mainly answer to the commitment of providing assistance to the always relegated chagasic patient.

Keywords : Chagas disease; leishmaniasis; vectors; natural products.

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