Book ID: CBB001252878

Chagas Disease: History of a Continent's Scourge (2012)


Delaporte, Françoise (Author)

Fordham University Press

Publication Date: 2012
Physical Details: x + 180 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

François Delaporte's Chagas Disease chronicles Brazilian medicine's encounter with a disease, an insect, and a history of discovery. Between 1909 and 1911, Carlos Chagas described an infection (pathogenic trypanosome), its intermediate host, and the illness that he believed it caused, parasitic thyroiditis. Chagas's work did not lack significance: the disease that came to share his name would be one of Latin America's most serious endemic diseases. However, the clinical identification of the disease through Romaña's sign (a palpebral edema or swelling of the eyelid) some decades later marked a transformation in the general medical knowledge of the disease and its basis altogether. Not only was the disease entity that Chagas had described shown to be a nosological illusion, but twenty-five years of scientific controversy turned out to have been based on a misunderstanding. The continued use of the term Chagas's Disease even after Cecilio Romaña's discovery thus refers to a fundamental ambiguity. Delaporte dispels this ambiguity by re-examining the various discoveries, dead ends, controversies, and major epistemological transformations that marked the history of the disease----a history that begins with the creation of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Rio de Janeiro and ends in the forests of Santa Fe in northern Argentina. Delaporte's study shows how an epistemological focus can add depth to the history of medicine and complexity to accounts of scientific discovery.

Reviewed By

Review García, Mónica (2014) Review of "Chagas Disease: History of a Continent's Scourge". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 397-398). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Silva, André Felipe Cândido da
Kropf, Simone Petraglia
Lima, Nísia Trinidade [Trindade]
Ferreira, Luiz Otávio
Benchimol, Jaime Larry
Azevedo, Nara
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society
Social History of Medicine
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Medical History
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Sussex Academic Press
Praeger Publishers
Duke University Press
Tropical medicine
Disease and diseases
Public health
Trypanosomiasis, American (Chagas disease)
Chagas, Carlos
Cruz, Oswaldo Gonçalves
Rocha Lima, Henrique de
Peixoto, Afrânio
Neiva, Artur
Moreira, Juliano
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
21st century
Amazon River Region (South America)
Kansas (U.S.)
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Brazil)
Rockefeller Foundation

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