, Volume 285, Issue 4, pp 919-923
Date: 17 Sep 2011

Chagas disease in Latin American pregnant immigrants: experience in a non-endemic country

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Abstract

Purpose

Chagas disease is a systemic chronic parasitic infection by Trypanosoma cruzi endemic in Latin America. Migration of women of childbearing age from Latin America to developed countries may spread the disease to non-endemic areas through vertical transmission.

Methods

Prospective study of seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in immigrant Latin American pregnant women during a 5-year period (from 2006 to 2010) in Spain.

Results

Seven out of 545 participants were seropositive for T. cruzi [prevalence 1.28%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–2.56]. Four (57%) were from Bolivia and three (43.%) from Paraguay. The seroprevalence in pregnant women from Bolivia was 10.26% (95% CI 4.06–23.58) and in participants from Paraguay was 6.52% (95% CI 2.24–17.5). No congenital transmission occurred.

Conclusions

Seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in Latin American pregnant women coming from Bolivia and Paraguay is high. Those women should be screened for T. cruzi to control mother-to-child transmission in non-endemic areas.