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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Nov;79(5):755-9.

Use of a rapid test on umbilical cord blood to screen for Trypanosoma cruzi infection in pregnant women in Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, and Mexico.

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Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria, Centro Nacional de Diagnóstico e Investigación de Endemoepidemias (CeNDIE) ANLIS Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán, Ministerio de Salud, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of Chagas disease in five endemic areas in Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, and México to estimate the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi-specific antibodies in pregnant women, and to assess the use of a rapid test (Chagas Stat-Pak) to screen for T. cruzi infection at the time of delivery. The prevalence of antibodies to T. cruzi measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in maternal blood was 5.5% (a range of 0.8-28.8% among the countries) in 2,495 women enrolled. Compared with ELISA in maternal blood samples, the Chagas Stat-Pak rapid test sensitivity and specificity in umbilical cord blood were 94.6% and 99.0%, respectively. These results show the ability for a rapid determination of the presence of T. cruzi-specific antibodies in umbilical cord blood as a pragmatic strategy to screen for infection in pregnant women.

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