, a parasite generally considered non-pathogenic for man, is the second species of human trypanosome to be reported from the New World. The geographical distribution of T. rangeli
often overlaps with that of T. cruzi
, the same vertebrate and invertebrate hosts being infected. Their differentiation thus becomes of real, practical importance, particularly as they share approximately half the antigenic determinants recognized by the humoral response. Little is known about the life cycle of T. rangeli
in the vertebrate host, although thousands of human and wild animal infections have been reported.
Recent studies have revealed 2 major phylogenetic lineages in T. rangeli
having different characteristics, thus leading to better understanding of the epidemiology and interactions with this parasite's vertebrate hosts and triatomine vectors.
Based on further genetic characterization analysis, the authors have proposed 2 alternative hypotheses and consider that T. rangeli
could have had clonal evolution or have been subjected to speciation processes.