Upon infection, Trypanosoma cruzi
triggers a strong immune response that has both protective and pathological consequences. In this work, several important questions regarding protective immunity are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on recent studies of the important protective role of CD8+ T cells and on previous studies of immunisation of domestic T. cruzi
reservoirs that sought to address practical vaccination problems. Research on the maturation of memory cells and studies indicating that the prevalence of T. cruzi
-specific T-cell responses and a high frequency of committed CD8+
T cells are associated with better clinical outcomes are also reviewed. Additionally, animal models in which protection was achieved without immunopathological consequences are discussed.