Volume 101, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease (CD), which can result in severe cardiomyopathy. is endemic to the Americas, and of particular importance in Latin America. In the United States and other non-endemic countries, rising case numbers have also been observed. The currently used drugs are benznidazole (BNZ) and nifurtimox, which have limited efficacy during chronic infection. We repurposed itraconazole (ICZ), originally an antifungal, in combination with amiodarone (AMD), an antiarrhythmic, with the goal of interfering with infection. Human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were differentiated into cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). Vero cells or hiPSC-CMs were infected with trypomastigotes of the II or I strain in the presence of ICZ and/or AMD. After 48 hours, cells were Giemsa stained, and infection and multiplication were evaluated microscopically. infection and multiplication were evalutated also by electron microscopy. BNZ was used as a reference compound. Cell metabolism in the presence of test substances was assessed. Itraconazole and AMD showed strain- and dose-dependent interference with infection and multiplication in Vero cells or hiPSC-CMs. Combinations of ICZ and AMD were more effective against than the single substances, or BNZ, without affecting host cell metabolism, and better preserving host cell integrity during infection. Our in vitro data in hiPSC-CMs suggest that a combination of ICZ and AMD might serve as a treatment option for CD in patients, but that different responses due to strain differences have to be taken into account.


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  • Received : 08 Jan 2019
  • Accepted : 06 May 2019
  • Published online : 17 Jun 2019
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