Chagas' disease and AIDS
1 Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases), Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx New York 10461, USA
2 Department of Pathology (Division of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx New York 10461, USA
Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease 2004, 3:2 doi:10.1186/1475-9292-3-2Published: 13 May 2004
Chagas' disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi is an opportunistic infection in the setting of HIV/AIDS. Some individuals with HIV and chronic T. cruzi infection may experience a reactivation, which is most commonly manifested by meningoencephalitis. A reactivation myocarditis is the second most common manifestation. These presentations may be difficult to distinguish from toxoplasmosis in individuals with HIV/AIDS. The overlap of HIV and Trypanosoma cruzi infection occurs not only in endemic areas but also in non-endemic areas of North America and Europe where the diagnosis may be even more difficult. The pathological features, diagnosis and the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of the disease are discussed.