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Biological Research

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APT, Werner et al. Vertical transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Province of Choapa, IV Region, Chile: Preliminary Report (2005-2008). Biol. Res. [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.3, pp.269-274. ISSN 0716-9760.

Congenital Chagas disease acquired special importance in Chile after the certification of the control of Triatoma infestans and transmission by blood donors affected with Trypanosoma cruzi. In order to establish adequate protocols for intervention and control in infected mother-neonate pairs in endemic zones of Chagas disease, we present partial results (2005-2008) of a pilot project which is being carried out in the Province of Choapa, IV Region, Chile, whose objectives are: determine the current prevalence of the disease in pregnant women, estimate the incidence of vertical transmission of T. cruzi to newborns, determine the lineages of the parasite present in mothers who do and do not transmit the disease, determine the prevalence of Chagas disease in maternal grandmothers of neonates and study placental histopathology. Preliminary results indicated that in this study period, 3.7% of the women who gave birth in the Province have Chagas disease and 2.5% of their newborns were infected. The most frequent T. cruzi genotypes found in mothers studied during pregnancy were TCI and TCIId, either alone or in mixed infections. A high percentage (74.3%) of the grandmothers studied was infected with the parasite. In 29 placentas from mothers with Chagas disease we observed edema, necrosis, fibrinoid deposits and slight lymphoplasmocyte infiltration. In three placentas we found erythroblastosis and in one of them amastigote forms of T. cruzi; this was one of the cases of congenital infection. The evaluation of the diagnostic and control protocols generated will allow us to determine if it has been possible to modify the natural history of vertical transmission of T. cruzi in Chile.

Keywords : Congenital Chagas disease; Province of Choapa; multidisciplinary study.

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