By Gary M. White, MD

Chagas disease represents infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. The vector is the reduviid bug also known as the assassin bug or the kissing bug. Most patients acquire Chagas disease from contact with vector bugs in endemic areas of Latin America. Other less common modes include congenital, transfusion, transplantation, and food-borne transmission.


Unilateral periorbital swelling (Romana's sign) may occur in the early stages of American Trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease. In the later stages, myocarditis, megaesophagus and megacolon may occur.


Consultation with an infectious disease specialist is recommended.


JAAD June 2009;Volume 60, Issue 6, Pages 897–925


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