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Combating Kinetoplastid diseases

Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1475-9292-1-6
  • Editorial
  • Agricultural Science
  • Medicine

Abstract ral Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease BioMed Cent Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease 2002, 1 xEditorial Combating Kinetoplastid diseases Alberto MR Dávila*1 and Kevin M Tyler*2 Address: 1Departamento de Bio química e Biologia Molecular, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz. Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 21045-900, Brasil and 2Dept of Pathology, University of Northwestern Medical School, Ward 6-140, 303 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago 60611, USA E-mail: Alberto MR Dávila* - [email protected]; Kevin M Tyler* - [email protected] *Corresponding authors Ancient Plagues, Modern Epidemics Today's Kinetoplastida form a diverse order of flagellated protozoans that have evolved from an ancient lineage, rooted near the base of the eukaryotic tree. The disease caused by some species of the Order Kinetoplastida have always plagued mankind, and today most are at least as prevalent as they have ever been. Kinetoplastid parasites cause disease in humans, animals and plants, severely af- fecting human health and retarding agriculture develop- ment in less developed countries. Sleeping sickness (caused by pathogenic subspecies of Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas disease (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) and the Leishmaniases (caused by Leishmania spp) are the major human diseases caused by kinetoplastids. According to the World Health Organization "sleeping sickness" af- fects more than 60 million men, women and children in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, most of which are among the least developed countries in the world. In many of these countries sleeping sickness is currently epi- demic, re-emerging in some as a greater cause of morbid- ity than even HIV/AIDS. T. cruzi currently infects 14 million people in Latin America. It is the agent of Chagas disease, the leading infectious cardiomyopathy in the world. The leishmaniases and the suffering they cause threaten 350 million women, men and children in 88 countries around the world, 72 of which are developing countries. In additio

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