Home Economics American Trypanosomiasis Chagas Disease, Second Edition: One Hundred Years of Research
At present there is no effective therapy for the majority of the patients who have chronic Chagas disease in the indeterminate (60—70%) and determinate (10—30%) periods. In the acquired acute period 70—75% of the cases are cured and in newborn and suckling children with congenital Chagas disease a 98—100% cure is obtained.
The compliance of beznidazole in chronic chagasic cardiopathy as well as its efficiency in these cases was determinate in September 2015 by the BENEFIT proj- ect.77,78 In this randomized double blind, placebo-controlled trial, 1423 patients were treated with BNZ, 300 mg/day, and 1423 with placebo during 60 days. After a mean of 5.4 years of follow-up (5—7 years) the PCR T. cruzi conversion rate was 62.2% in the BNZ group and 33.5% in the placebo group. However, despite the significant difference in parasitemia of both groups no differences were observed in the clinical outcome. The people with Chagas disease have low economic resources. Chagas disease is one of the “neglected diseases” and for this reason is not of interest to the pharmaceutical companies.79 What will happen when the current supply of NF is exhausted? Bayer is not interested in continuing its production. Since ROCHE did not want to continue production of BNZ, it assigned the process to Brazilian and Argentinean laboratories. Recently a pediatric formula of nifurtimox and benznidazole has been produced, and in the last few years new drugs have been developed against T. cruzi that can be applied to humans. So there is a hope that in the near future chronic chagasic patients could be treated with new drugs or a combination of drugs.80
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