Chagas Disease

2020 Target


Global burden

Chagas disease confines tens of thousands of young, working-age adults to hospital beds, resulting in an annual economic loss of at least $1.2 billion.

Chagas disease is a parasitic infection transmitted primarily through bug bites, but also from mother to child, through blood transmission, organ transplantation or rarely by an oral route. The parasites hide in the heart, digestive organs and other tissues and emerge in early adulthood. The disease ultimately causes heart damage in up to 30% of those affected, as well as digestive lesions inhibiting function of the colon or esophagus in up to 10% of those affected.

Strategy for Elimination / Eradication / Control

The standard treatment for acute Chagas disease is a 60-90 day course of nifurtimox or a preferred 60 day course of benznidazole. DNDi and its partners recently developed a paediatric dosage form of benznidazole. There is no cure for the organ damage from chronic infection.

Control for Chagas disease is defined as transmission through blood transfusion interrupted by 2015; intra-domiciliary transmission interrupted in the region of the Americas by 2020.