Host-Derived Molecules as Novel Chagas Disease Biomarkers: Hypercoagulability Markers in Plasma
The most severe clinical symptomatology of Chagas disease affects ~30% of those chronically infected with the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. The pathogenic mechanisms that lead to life-threatening heart and gut tissue disruptions occur “silently” for a longtime in a majority of cases. As a result, despite there are several serological and molecular methods available to diagnose the infection in its acute and chronic stages, diagnosis is often achieved only after the onset of clinical symptoms in the chronic phase of the disease. Furthermore, although there are two drugs to treat it, the assessment of their performance is impractical with current parasite-derived diagnostics, and therapeutic efficacy cannot be acknowledged in a timely manner.
In this chapter we present two procedures to measure host-derived molecules as surrogates of therapeutic response against chronic T. cruzi infection. Their outputs relate to the generation and activity of thrombin, a major component of the blood coagulation cascade. This is due to the fact that a hypercoagulability state has been described to occur in chronic Chagas disease patients and revert after treatment with benznidazole.
Key wordsChagas disease Diagnosis Prognosis Therapeutic response Host-derived biological markers Hypercoagulability biomarkers
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