Trypanosoma cruzi: chemotherapy with benznidazole in mice inoculated with strains from Paraná state and from different endemic areas of Brazil

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. Sep-Oct 1997;39(5):283-90. doi: 10.1590/s0036-46651997000500007.


Strains of Trypanosoma cruzi from different geographical areas have shown different levels of susceptibility to trypanosomicidal drugs. The susceptibility in vivo to benznidazole was investigated in eighteen strains of T. cruzi. Twelve were isolated from chronic chagasic patients from different Chagas' disease endemic areas. The other six strains were isolated from the northwestern region of Paraná state; two of them from patients, three from triatomines (Triatoma sordida) and one from wild reservoir (Didelphis sp.). To test drug the infected mice were divided into two groups of twenty. One group was treated with benznidazole for twenty consecutive days and the other group was used as untreated control. The treatment began after detection of the infection by direct blood examination or haemoculture. The control of cure was done through haemoculture and indirect immunofluorescence test. The drug eliminated the inflammatory lesions of the skeletal muscle of mice considered cured and from the heart of most of them. Moreover, the inflammatory lesions were reduced in treated but not cured animals. The T. cruzi strains studied showed a gradient of drug susceptibility that varied from 0% to 100%. Ten strains were considered sensitive to the treatment (61 to 100% of cure), one strain was partially sensitive (50% of cure) and seven strains were considered resistant to the treatment (0 to 40% of cure). This variation was observed both in strains of T. cruzi isolated from domestic and sylvatic cycles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Chagas Disease / drug therapy*
  • Chagas Disease / epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nitroimidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Trypanocidal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / drug effects*


  • Nitroimidazoles
  • Trypanocidal Agents
  • benzonidazole