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Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases Program
Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). The insect vectors are called triatomine bugs (also called kissing bugs or conenose bugs). Chagas disease is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.
Triatoma sanguisuga which is found from Pennsylvania to Florida and across the south to California.
Photo by Jim Gathany
Trypanosoma cruzi parasites in hindgut of a field-collected triatomine bugs.
Photo courtesy of the CDC
Chagas Disease Transmission Cycle
Chagas Disease Resources