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A new, large-scale systematic review published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has identified clear, significant research gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. The paper also highlights significant differences in study design, diagnostic methods, duration of follow-up, and the timing of outcome assessment used by investigators even in the last decade.

Two people discussing and pointing at information on a leaflet © Ana Ferreira, DNDi

This systematic review assessed the feasibility of establishing an individual participant-level data platform (IPD), and included clinical data from 23,116 patients from prospective Chagas disease studies published after 1997 with patients receiving a trypanocidal treatment. Researchers found that harnessing IPD from past studies could help to answer some outstanding research questions, and inform prospective data collection. Currently there are very limited options for the treatment of Chagas disease. The two major drugs, Benznidazole and nifurtimox, were both discovered half a century ago and have some limitations.

Existing IPD, collected in past clinical trials and longitudinal observational studies, could be pooled and used to generate new evidence to address knowledge gaps and guide research priorities to strengthen evidence for the treatment and diagnosis of Chagas disease.

The Chagas disease platform, launched by IDDO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) in 2019 helps to strengthen collaboration between researchers and avoid duplication, both critical to the IPD analyses efforts.,

The full story is available on the IDDO website

Read the publication 'The Chagas disease study landscape: A systematic review of clinical and observational antiparasitic treatment studies to assess the potential for establishing an individual participant-level data platform' on the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases website

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