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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

versión On-line ISSN 1812-9528


RUSSOMANDO, G. Congenital transmission of Chagas disease in Paraguay. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2009, vol.7, n.2, pp.55-64. ISSN 1812-9528.

ABSTRACT The current strategies recommended for the diagnosis of congenital Chagas disease require the conventional serological diagnosis in pregnant women to detect their infection and the parasitological confirmation in the congenitally infected newborns. The detection of parasites in blood is not a method easy to apply at large scale and at public health level. Therefore, the conventional serology is recommended, i.e. detection of anti-T.cruzi IgG in infants older than eight months of age. Considering these recommendations, our group has designed operative strategies in endemic rural areas that allow the rapid detection and treatment of congenitally infected infants. We have demonstrated that the decentralization of the serological studies from the Regional Hospitals contributes to the fast identification of the infected women together with the registration of their infection status in the family, prenatal and pediatric files. The results of over fifteen years of study of our group indicate that, in spite of the high sensitivity of PCR, its use with diagnosis purposes is very complex at large scale and in rural areas. However, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique is very useful to evaluate the treatment of infected children. The conventional IgG serology allows the unequivocal detection of congenitally infected infants after eight months of age (maximum time observed for the clearance of maternal antibodies). However, this strategy makes that the time required to rule out a congenital transmission in the follow-up diminishes adherence with an important loss of children that are not brought to control. The detection of congenital transmission cases increases remarkably when a combination of the conventional serological techniques and an ELISA that we designed with the recombinant protein "shed acute phase antigen" (SAPA) is used, allowing the unequivocal detection of congenitally infected children at three months of age.

Palabras clave : Chagas diseases; congenital transmission; SAPA; Paraguay.

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