The little-known parasite that causes Chagas disease is a huge problem across Latin America, infecting five times as many people as HIV. Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston are working on a therapeutic vaccine.
Chagas disease is caused by a parasite that enters the blood stream and sometimes lives quietly for decades. But up to 30 percent of people will later develop complications, such as heart disease. The microscopic parasite can create little nests inside the cells of the heart muscle, causing cardiac problems and even death, according to Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor’s National . . .