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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Sep;75(3):497-501.

Polymerase chain reaction detection and serologic follow-up after treatment with benznidazole in Bolivian children infected with a natural mixture of Trypanosoma cruzi I and II.

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  • 1Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas y Bioquímicas, Instituto Seladis, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia.


Thirty-five Bolivian children (5-10 years of age) seropositive for infection with T. cruzi underwent specific chemotherapy with benznidazole. Before treatment, 57.1% had a positive parasitologic diagnosis. Some patients presented an early conversion by polymerase chain reaction of blood samples, while others were still positive four and seven months after the end of the treatment, which indicated an absence of parasite clearance. Strain typing showed that most patients were infected by a mixture of clones I and II of T. cruzi. Serologic conversion in conventional tests and antibodies to shed acute-phase antigen were observed in two and four patients, respectively. For the other patients, the average rate of antibody decay was half the initial rate. The parasitologic and serologic data indicated that chemotherapy acts throughout the course of infection in a long-lasting process in which the decrease of specific antibody production is related to the reduction of the live parasite load.

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