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Exp Parasitol. 2008 Sep;120(1):45-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2008.04.018. Epub 2008 May 1.

Usefulness of the polymerase chain reaction for monitoring cure of mice infected with different Trypanosoma cruzi clonal genotypes following treatment with benznidazole.

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  • 1Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Centro de Ciencias da Saude, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Av. Colombo, 87020-900 Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.


The capacity of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the DNA of Trypanosoma cruzi was evaluated in 90 blood samples from BALB/c mice infected with T. cruzi cloned stocks of genotypes 19 and 20 (T. cruzi I) and 39 and 32 (T. cruzi II), and treated with benznidazole. The results from the fresh blood examination, hemoculture, and ELISA allowed to group the treated animals into: cured (TC), dissociated (DIS) and non-cured (NC). The PCR detected T. cruzi DNA in 50.9%, 58.3% and 100.0% of the samples from TC, DIS and NC mice, respectively. These DNA possibly derives from live T. cruzi or from recently lysed parasites, suggests that these animals are in fact not cured. The difference between the PCR results and results obtained using other techniques was statistically significant and independent of the parasite genotype. The PCR described has therefore potential to be used in cure control of treated patients.

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