Diagnostic Parasitology

Trypanosoma cruzi
Trypanosoma cruzi is a member of the Trypanosomastidae family.  T. cruzi is transmitted to humans by the reduviid bug. During the acute stage of infection, the trypomastigote form (at right) of the parasite can be found in the peripheral blood. Trypomastigote forms of this species tend to be 'C' shaped, which differentiaties them from other Trypanosoma sp.
As the disease progresses into the chronic stage, the amastigote form (at left) of the parasite can be seen in a variety of internal organs. The amastigotes are 2-6 µm in size and are indistinguishable from Leishmania sp. The amastigotes contain a single large nucleus and a smaller kinetoplast. These patients most frequently present with cardiomyopathy and megaesophagus.

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Copyright 2008 Don Lehman