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

Posted on November 27, 2012 • Filed under: Latin America Health, TRAVEL

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 nonendemic
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% conWdence 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
Keywords Chagas disease · American trypanosomiasis ·
Trypanosoma cruzi · Maternal–fetal transmission · Vertical
transmission · Non-endemic area
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