Short review of Chagas disease history after a century of its descovery and the current situation in Peru


  • César Náquira Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Perú. Médico Parasitólogo, Doctor en Medicina.
  • Rufino Cabrera Grupo Temático de Enfermedades Metaxénicas, Dirección General de Epidemiología, Ministerio de Salud. Lima, Perú. Biólogo Epidemiólogo.



Chagas disease, Epidemiology, Prevention of Communicable diseases, Triatomines, History of Medicine, Peru


This paper is a short review of the discovery of Chagas disease and the current information of the epidemiological and clinical aspects of the disease observed in Peru. With the discovery of Trypanosoma cruzi in the blood of a child in 1909, the isolation of the etiologic agent in experimental animals and the finding of similar parasites in the intestinal content of triatomines, Carlos Chagas determined the parasite’s life cycle and, clinical symptoms of this new entity designated as Chagas disease. Eight years after Dr Carlos Chagas discovery (1917), Dr. Edmundo Escomel born in Arequipa, reported the presence of Triatoma infestans in the valleys of Arequipa department and after two years the first human case of Chagas disease from Madre de Dios. In Peru, have been described 19 species of triatomines, and several studies show guinea pig “cuy” as the most important reservoir of the parasite. The endemic areas are present in the south, north and northeast, mainly the Amazonian area. Recently, Tacna has been declared free of vectorial transmission and we hope others parts of the country could receive similar certification.


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How to Cite

Náquira C, Cabrera R. Short review of Chagas disease history after a century of its descovery and the current situation in Peru. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2009 Dec. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 15];26(4). Available from:

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