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Epidemiol Infect. 2011 Apr;139(4):539-43. doi: 10.1017/S0950268810001305. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Screening for Chagas' disease in HIV-positive immigrants from endemic areas.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Unit, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain. azucenarodriguez@telecable.es

Abstract

Chagas' disease is an opportunistic infection in the setting of HIV/AIDS. The arrival of HIV-positive immigrants from endemic areas to non-endemic countries makes possible the detection of Chagas' disease in this group of patients. We describe the results of a screening programme conducted in the HIV-positive immigrant population arriving from endemic areas who attended the Tropical Medicine Unit of Hospital Universitario Central of Asturias during 2008. We determined anti-T. cruzi antibodies in all HIV patients arriving from endemic areas who were followed up. The ID-Chagas antibody test was used as a screening assay. The positive cases were confirmed with ELISA, IFAT and PCR. We analysed 19 HIV-positive immigrants, of which two (10·5%) had a positive antibody test for Chagas' disease confirmed. PCR was positive in both cases. There was no difference between the co-infected and the non-co-infected patients with respect to race, place of birth and residence, CD4+ cell count, and HIV viral load count. Direct microscopic examination of blood was negative in both positive cases. The positive patients were a man from Bolivia and woman from Paraguay. The overlap of HIV and T. cruzi infection occurs not only in endemic areas but also in non-endemic areas of North America and Europe where the diagnosis may be even more difficult due to low diagnostic suspicion. The implementation of screening programmes in this population group is needed for the early diagnostic of Chagas' disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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