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, 16 Suppl 1, 13-34

The Discovery of Trypanosoma Cruzi and Chagas Disease (1908-1909): Tropical Medicine in Brazil

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The Discovery of Trypanosoma Cruzi and Chagas Disease (1908-1909): Tropical Medicine in Brazil

Simone Petraglia Kropf et al. Hist Cienc Saude Manguinhos.

Abstract

This article analyzes the discovery of Chagas disease and the parasite that causes it (Trypanosoma cruzi) by Carlos Chagas in 1908/1909, with a special focus on the scientific and social context in which this occurred. Its inclusion in the international debate on European tropical medicine--especially with researchers from the German school of protozoology--and its connection with discussions on the modernization of the recently established Brazilian Republic are also examined. The discovery of Chagas disease became a decisive aspect in the scientific project that Oswaldo Cruz sought to establish at the institute that bears his name. It was extolled as a symbol of Brazil's scientific ability t produce knowledge in line with the international scientific agenda, while simultaneously being attuned to the specific problems of the country.

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