Trypanosomatids are severe pathogens in developing countries, where they affect both humans and domestic animals. Factors intrinsic to the host, the toxicity or subcurative effects of the available antiparasite medication and the low perspective of potential vaccines favor research on novel candidates for drug target. Telomeres are essential for the survival of most eukaryotes. In trypanosomatids, events such as antigenic variation and/or gene conversion and duplication occur at telomeric positions, possibly facilitating genome rearrangement. Understanding the role that telomere maintenance might play in the cell life span of trypanosomatids has important implications for therapeutics of parasitic diseases.
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