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Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Jun;28(6):1281-5.

Prevalence of antibody to Trypanosoma cruzi in pregnant Hispanic women in Houston.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and School of Public Health, Center of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas, Houston 77030, USA.


We assessed the seroprevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi among pregnant Hispanic women in Houston. Sera from 2,107 Hispanic and 1,658 non-Hispanic subjects were tested by ELISA for the presence of antibodies to T. cruzi. Twenty-two (0.6%) of 3,765 subjects had sera that were reactive. Seroreactivity was confirmed by hemagglutination assay. Eleven subjects had reactive sera, giving a confirmed seroprevalence of 0.3% (95% CI, 0-1%). Nine sera from Hispanic and two from non-Hispanic women were positive by hemagglutination assay, for a prevalence of 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively, during pregnancy. On the basis of these seroreactivity data, transplacental transmission of T. cruzi could occur in the continental United States. Screening for antibodies to T. cruzi during pregnancy would provide the potential for early intervention in congenital Chagas' disease.

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