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West Indian Med J. 2012 Sep;61(6):559-63.

Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in blood donors at the National Blood Transfusion Services--Guyana.

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  • 1From: School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Boorooma Street, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2678, Australia.



Blood transfusion is an important transmission route of Trypanosoma cruzi (T cruzi), a major parasitic infection in Central and South America. The limited treatment options are most effective in acute Chagas' infection. At present, there is no current data on the prevalence of T cruzi in the blood donor population of Guyana. This information is necessary to protect the supply of the blood donation programme. This study sought to determine the prevalence of T cruzi in the blood supply at the National Blood Transfusion Services of Guyana with the hope of providing knowledge to the on-going surveillance for Chagas' disease worldwide and therefore address the risk of its spread by blood transfusion.


Two commercialized ELISAs utilizing crude or recombinant T cruzi antigens were used to study 2000 blood samples voluntarily donated for the purpose of altruistic or family replacement donation retrospectively.


The results showed that approximately 1 in 286 donations tested positive for antibodies to T cruzi.


These results indicate that T cruzi continues to be a risk in Guyana and there is a need to continue screening donated blood. Trypanosoma cruzi is a life-long infection and infected persons may be asymptomatic chronic carriers of the disease. Education, housing improvement, and controlled use of insecticides should be introduced to contain Chagas' disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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