The key difference between Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli is that Trypanosoma cruzi is pathogenic to humans while Trypanosoma rangeli is harmless to humans.
Protozoa is a major group of Kingdom Protista. This group includes animal-like single-cell eukaryotic organisms. Trypanosoma is a genus of protozoa that contains about 20 species. Among the 20 species, T. cruzi and the two subspecies; Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense, cause diseases in humans. Trypanosoma rangeli is another species that can be transmitted to humans. But it does not cause a persistent infection and is apparently harmless to humans. Both T. cruzi and T. rangeli are parasitic. Both species are pathogenic to insects. Once they infect insects, those insects show difficulties in feeding and show increased mortality. Both species share the same reservoirs and vectors. Using insect vectors, Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease, which is also known as American trypanosomiasis to humans.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Trypanosoma Cruzi
3. What is Trypanosoma Rangeli
4. Similarities Between Trypanosoma Cruzi and Trypanosoma Rangeli
5. Side by Side Comparison – Trypanosoma Cruzi vs Trypanosoma Rangeli in Tabular Form
What is Trypanosoma Cruzi?
Trypanosoma cruzi is a species of the protozoa genus Trypanosoma. It is a pathogenic and parasitic species. T. cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans. It is transmitted by insect vectors. The insect: Rhodnius prolixus is mainly responsible for the transmission of T. cruzi into humans. It is a triatomine bug which feeds by sucking blood. This bug tends to bite faces during the night when people are sleeping. Therefore, it is also referred to as “kissing bug”. Once this bug bites and ingests blood, it defecates on the person. Bug faeces contain T. cruzi and the parasite enters humans through mucous membranes or broken skin and starts the infection.
Chagas disease is seen in areas of Central and South America. Therefore, this disease is also known as American trypanosomiasis. The severity of the Chagas disease varies depending on the age at which a person became infected, the way in which a person acquires the infection, and the particular strain of the T. cruzi parasite.
What is Trypanosoma Rangeli?
Trypanosoma rangeli is another species of the genus: Trypanosoma. Similar to T. cruzi, T. rangeli is a parasite. But it is harmless to humans. In other words, T, rangeli is not pathogenic to humans. It is pathogenic to insects: triatomines or Reduviid bugs. Both T. cruzi and T. rangeli share same reservoirs and vectors, but T. rangeli does not cause Chagas disease. However, T. rangeli is a source for misdiagnosis of Chagas disease. This is because T. rangeli shares surface antigens with T. cruzi. T. rangeli is more frequent than T. cruzi. Moreover, T. rangeli occur in the same geographical locations of T. cruzi.
T. rangeli infects insects, causing increased mortality and difficulties in feeding. Moreover, T. rangelican reduce symbiont populations, causing several negative impacts on insect development. Unlike T. cruzi, which multiplies only in the digestive tract, T. rangeli moves from the intestine into the hemocoel and then enters the salivary glands during the development in the insect vector.
What are the Similarities Between Trypanosoma Cruzi and Trypanosoma Rangeli?
- Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli are two parasitic species which are closely related.
- They are protozoans.
- They are transmitted to humans by insect vectors.
- Both cruziand T. rangeli are pathogenic to triatomines and they affect the insect development, longevity and survival.
- Both cruziand T. rangeli can impair the reproductive performance of R. prolixus.
- Mixed infections with both parasites species have been reported in humans
What is the Difference Between Trypanosoma Cruzi and Trypanosoma Rangeli?
Trypanosome cruzi is a pathogenic protozoan to humans while Trypanosoma rangeli is harmless to humans. So, this is the difference between Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli. T. cruzi causes chagas disease while T. rangeli does not cause Chagas disease.
The below infographic lists the differences between Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli in tabular form.
Summary – Trypanosoma Cruzi vs Trypanosoma Rangeli
T. cruzi and T. rangeli are two parasitic protozoa. Both species infect humans, but only T. cruzi causes Chagas’ disease. T. rangeli can be a source of misdiagnosis of Chagas’ disease. However, T. rangeli is harmless to humans. Both species are pathogenic to insects causing difficulties in feeding and increased mortality. Moreover both these species share hosts, vectors and a large amount of antigenic coat. Thus, this summarizes the difference between Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli.
1. Fellet, Maria Raquel, et al. “Effects of Infection by Trypanosoma Cruzi and Trypanosoma Rangeli on the Reproductive Performance of the Vector Rhodnius Prolixus.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, Available here.
2. “Trypanosoma Rangeli.” an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, Available here.
1. “Trypanosoma cruzi crithidia” By CDC/Dr. Myron G. Schultz – from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #613.Note: (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia