Contemporary autochthonous human Chagas disease in the USA

Acta Trop. 2020 May:205:105361. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105361. Epub 2020 Jan 31.


Chagas disease is a leading cause of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy in Latin America and an infection of emerging importance in the USA. Recent studies have uncovered evidence of an active peridomestic cycle in southern states, yet autochthonous transmission to humans has been rarely reported. We conducted a systematic review of the literature and public health department reports to investigate suspected or confirmed locally acquired cases of Chagas in the USA. We found 76 cases of contemporary suspected or confirmed locally acquired Chagas disease, nearly ten times the case counts cited in the prior 50 years of scientific literature. Shared risk factors among cases include rural residence, history of hunting or camping, and agricultural or outdoor work. The results of this review suggest that the disease burden and risk of autochthonous Chagas infection is potentially higher in the USA than previously recognized.

Keywords: Autochthonous Chagas disease; T. cruzi; USA; triatomine.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Camping
  • Chagas Disease / epidemiology
  • Chagas Disease / etiology
  • Chagas Disease / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • United States / epidemiology