In the present study, we evaluated for the first time the profile of blood parasitism in untreated, chronic Chagas' disease. The study was conducted on 60 patients and a control group of nine serologically negative individuals. Analysis of three blood samples showed 70% cumulative positivity for blood culture and 86.7% positivity for PCR. The comparison of the two tests revealed that 41.1% (74/180) of the samples presented positive results for both PCR and blood culture, 22.2% (40/180) were positive for PCR alone, and 4.4% (8/180) were positive for blood culture and negative for PCR. The addition of the second sample raised positivity significantly for both blood culture (P=0.0000) and PCR (P=0.0369). Addition of the third sample was also statistically significant for blood culture (P=0.0001) but not for PCR (P=0.1186). These data point to the importance of studying the parasitemia of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected individuals before specific treatment. They also suggest that at least two blood samples should be collected and that two tests should be used, if possible – a procedure that considerably improves the parasitologic diagnosis of Chagas' disease and the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy.
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Castro, .A., Luquetti, .A., Rassi, .A. et al. Blood culture and polymerase chain reaction for the diagnosis of the chronic phase of human infection with Trypanosoma cruzi . Parasitol Res 88, 894–900 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-002-0679-3
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Blood Sample
- Positive Result
- Blood Culture
- Specific Treatment