The present work aims to use a cell biologic approach to create multimedia materials that present basic aspects of the life cycle of T. cruzi and the morphology of its various developmental stages, as well as some biological processes such a division, motility, and endocytic activity. In this report, we present new instructional material with modern schemes and dynamic models that include 3D animations.
The parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is the causal agent of the human disease known as Chagas disease, affects approximately 8 million people and causes more than 14,000 deaths per year in Latin America. T. cruzi has a complex life cycle involving both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts in three well-defined developmental stages: (1) amastigotes, which are the proliferative forms found inside the vertebrate host cells; (2) epimastigotes, which are the proliferative forms found in the intestine of the invertebrate host; and (3) trypomastigotes, which are highly infective and originate from the amastigotes at the end of the intracellular cycle following their release into the intercellular space and into bloodstream. Trypomastigotes also arise from epimastigotes in the posterior regions of the digestive tract of the invertebrate host.