Chagasic megaoesophagus and megacolon are characterised by motor abnormalities related to enteric nervous system lesions and their development seems to be related to geographic distribution of distinct Trypanosoma cruzi
subpopulations. Beagle dogs were infected with Y or Berenice-78 (Be-78) T. cruzi
strains and necropsied during the acute or chronic phase of experimental disease for post mortem
histopathological evaluation of the oesophagus and colon. Both strains infected the oesophagus and colon and caused an inflammatory response during the acute phase. In the chronic phase, inflammatory process was observed exclusively in the Be-78 infected animals, possibly due to a parasitism persistent only in this group. Myenteric denervation occurred during the acute phase of infection for both strains, but persisted chronically only in Be-78 infected animals. Glial cell involvement occurred earlier in animals infected with the Y strain, while animals infected with the Be-78 strain showed reduced glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive area of enteric glial cells in the chronic phase. These results suggest that although both strains cause lesions in the digestive tract, the Y strain is associated with early control of the lesion, while the Be-78 strain results in progressive gut lesions in this model.