The revised Trypanosoma cruzi subspecific nomenclature: Rationale, epidemiological relevance and research applications

Bianca Zingales, Michael A. Miles, David A. Campbell, Michel Tibayrenc, Andrea M. Macedo, Marta M.G. Teixeira, Alejandro G. Schijman, Martin S. Llewellyn, Eliane Lages-Silva, Carlos R. Machado, Sonia G. Andrade, Nancy R. Sturm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

579 Scopus citations

Abstract

The protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, its mammalian reservoirs, and vectors have existed in nature for millions of years. The human infection, named Chagas disease, is a major public health problem for Latin America. T. cruzi is genetically highly diverse and the understanding of the population structure of this parasite is critical because of the links to transmission cycles and disease. At present, T. cruzi is partitioned into six discrete typing units (DTUs), TcI-TcVI. Here we focus on the current status of taxonomy-related areas such as population structure, phylogeographical and eco-epidemiological features, and the correlation of DTU with natural and experimental infection. We also summarize methods for DTU genotyping, available for widespread use in endemic areas. For the immediate future multilocus sequence typing is likely to be the gold standard for population studies. We conclude that greater advances in our knowledge on pathogenic and epidemiological features of these parasites are expected in the coming decade through the comparative analysis of the genomes from isolates of various DTUs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-253
Number of pages14
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Discrete typing unit
  • Genotyping
  • Hybridization
  • Pathology
  • Phylogeography
  • Trypanosoma cruzi strains

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