Recent Clinical Trials For The Etiological Treatment Of Chronic Chagas Disease: Advances, Challenges And Perspectives.

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Recent Clinical Trials For The Etiological Treatment Of Chronic Chagas Disease: Advances, Challenges And Perspectives.

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2014 Oct 5;

Authors: Urbina JA

Abstract
Chagas disease, a chronic systemic parasitosis caused by the Kinetoplastid protozoon Trypanosoma cruzi, is the first cause of cardiac morbidity and mortality in poor rural and suburban areas of Latin America and the largest parasitic disease burden in the continent, now spreading worldwide due to international migrations. A recent change of the scientific paradigm on the pathogenesis of chronic Chagas disease has led to a consensus that all T. cruzi-seropositive patients should receive etiological treatment. This important scientific advance has spurred the rigorous evaluation of the safety and efficacy of currently available drugs (benznidazole and nifurtimox) as well as novel anti-T. cruzi drug candidates in chronic patients, who were previously excluded from such treatment. The first results indicate that benznidazole is effective in inducing a marked and sustained reduction of the circulating parasites' level in the majority of these patients, but adverse effects can lead to treatment discontinuation in 10-20% of cases. Ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors, such as posaconazole and ravuconazole, are better tolerated but their efficacy at the doses and treatment duration used in the initial studies was significantly lower; such results are probably related to suboptimal exposure and/or treatment duration. Combination therapies are a promising perspective but the lack of validated biomarkers of response to etiological treatment and eventual parasitological cures in chronic patients remains a serious challenge. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 25284065 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]