Despite the wealth of information generated by trans-disciplinary research in Chagas disease, knowledge about its multifaceted pathogenesis is still fragmented. Here we review the body of experimental studies in animal models supporting the concept that persistent infection by Trypanosoma cruzi
is crucial for the development of chronic myocarditis.
Complementing this review, we will make an effort to reconcile seemingly contradictory results concerning the immune profiles of chronic patients from Argentina and Brazil. Finally, we will review the results of molecular studies suggesting that parasite-induced inflammation and tissue damage is, at least in part, mediated by the activities
of trans-sialidase, mucin-linked lipid anchors (TLR2 ligand) and cruzipain (a kinin-releasing cysteine protease). One hundred years after the discovery of Chagas disease, it is reassuring that basic and clinical research tends to converge, raising new perspectives for the treatment of chronic Chagas disease.