One hundred years after its discovery by Carlos Chagas, American trypanosomiasis, or Chagas disease, remains an epidemiologic challenge. Neither a vaccine nor an ideal specific treatment is available for most chronic cases. Therefore, the current strategy for countering Chagas disease consists of preventive actions against the vector and transfusion-transmitted disease. Here, the present challenges, including congenital and oral transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi
infections, as well as the future potential for Chagas disease elimination are discussed in light of the current epidemiological picture. Finally, a list of challenging open questions is presented about Chagas disease control, patient management, programme planning and priority definitions faced by researchers and politicians.