American trypanosomiasis (trypanosomiasis cruzi) is an endemic disease in some parts of Brazil, and is due to the action of Trypanosoma cruzi, which was discovered by Carlos Chagas in 1909.
The disease occurs in an acute form, which, when not fatal, becomes chronic, and the individual thus affected may live in a more or less invalided condition until old age. This is readily explicable when one has a knowledge of the pathology of the disease, which will be briefly summarized here; this summary will be followed by a detailed description of the pathology of the acute form. In other papers I will deal with the pathology of the chronic form in some of its aspects, and with the disease as manifest in animals spontaneously and artificially infected.
Transmitted by the bite of the Triatoma megista the trypanosome enters the circulating blood, from which it can be recovered during the first twenty to thirty days of the disease.