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Pathog Glob Health. 2012 May;106(2):102-6. doi: 10.1179/2047773212Y.0000000013.

Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Elche (Spain): comparison of the seroprevalence in immigrants from Paraguay and Bolivia.

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  • 1Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Elche, Spain. jramosrincon@yahoo.es


Chagas disease is a global public health problem due to the recent emigration of people from Latin America to other regions, including Europe. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection among Paraguayans and Bolivians living in Elche (Spain), a city located in the Mediterranean Coast of Spain. A cross-sectional study was conducted. Capillary blood samples were obtained through a finger prick, and collected on filter paper. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and indirect immunofluorescence tests were performed to search for anti-T. cruzi IgG antibodies in the filter papers. Thirteen out of 201 participants were infected with T. cruzi in this study, seven out of 73 Bolivians and six out of 128 Paraguayans, corresponding to seroprevalences of 9·59% (95%CI, 4·72-18·5%) and 4·69% (95%CI, 2·17-9·85%), respectively. Palpitation, chest pain, and migration from rural endemic areas were the most common clinical and epidemiological risk factors associated with T. cruzi infection detected in the Paraguayan group. This study highlights that Chagas disease is no longer limited to the Bolivian population living in Spain. It is important to note this wider prevalence and, therefore, not discount Paraguayans in the screening for Chagas disease in Spain. Indeed, this should be considered for all immigrants from Latin America.

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