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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Dec;73(6):1016-8.

Molecular diagnosis and typing of Trypanosoma cruzi populations and lineages in cerebral Chagas disease in a patient with AIDS.

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Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de la Enfermedad de Chagas, Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular (INGEBI-CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Trypanosoma cruzi DNA was amplified from an intracranial biopsy and peripheral blood of an HIV patient with encephalitis; this episode was indicative of AIDS and congenital Chagas disease. The analysis of a micro-satellite locus revealed a multiclonal parasite population at the brain lesion with a more complex minicircle signature than that profiled in blood using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)-PCR and low stringency single primer (LSSP) PCR. Interestingly, different sublineages of T. cruzi II were detected in blood and brain by means of spliced-leader and 24salpha ribosomal-DNA amplifications. Quantitative-competitive PCR monitored the decrease of parasitic load during treatment and secondary prophylaxis with benznidazole. The synergy between parasiticidal plus anti-retroviral treatments probably allowed the patient a longer survival than usually achieved in similar episodes. This is the first case report demonstrating a differential distribution of natural parasite populations and sublineages in Chagas disease reactivation, showing the proliferation of cerebral variants not detectable in peripheral blood.

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