Chagas disease (CD) remains one of the most neglected illnesses in the world, with estimates indicating 5.7
million infected people in Latin and Central America. Currently, there are many barriers that patients with CD
have to overcome to obtain a diagnosis, adequate treatment, and appropriate follow-up. One of the main ones is
the high rate of underdiagnosis and consequently of patients treated. It is estimated that less than 10% of patients
are diagnosed and that less than 1% are treated. Furthermore, to date, there is no "reliable" method that allows
measuring therapeutic efficacy. During the last 15 years, researchers from the São Paulo-Minas Gerais Tropical
Medicine Research Center (SaMi-Trop) have developed numerous projects that have evidenced the high number
of patients in an endemic area in the north of the State of Minas Gerais, in addition to providing valuable
information on the natural history of CD, the rate of progression to cardiomyopathy and its relationship with
antibody levels. A great key to the success of such initiatives has been their strategic articulation with primary
health care, which has made it possible to have large cohorts of patients accompanied for more than 10 years.
Therefore, it is intended in this project to apply all this knowledge and articulation to identify methodologies and
tools that allow overcoming existing barriers. The results obtained will make it possible to increase the number
of diagnosed patients to whom treatment will be offered and identify strategies and biomarkers that make it
possible to improve patient follow-up and help evaluate new treatment candidates.