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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2008 Dec;26(10):609-13.

[Epidemiological surveillance of vertically-transmitted Chagas disease at three maternity hospitals in the Valencian Community].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Marina Alta, Denia, Alicante, Spain.



Immigration to Spain of Latin Americans with Chagas disease in its indeterminate phase could result in vertical transmission of the disease or transmission by transfusion or organ transplantation. To ascertain the magnitude of this problem, we investigated the prevalence of bearers among women who gave birth in 3 state maternity hospitals in the Valencian Community and the incidence of vertical transmission.


An immunoprecipitation test to detect anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies was carried out on 624 pregnant Latin American women. In positive cases, indirect immunofluorescence and PCR analysis were performed on mothers. In addition, a microhematocrit and PCR analysis were performed on the newborns of these mothers, and immune precipitation was carried out from age 7 months. Chagas-positive mothers were referred for outpatient care at the hospital internal medicine departments. Percentage of positive serology was calculated for the total number of patients and by country of origin.


A total of 29 women (4.8%; 95% CI, 3.1-6.3) were Chagas-positive; all were asymptomatic and PCR-negative. None of their children were positive to the tests performed. Bolivian women were the most frequently affected: 24 out of 137 (17.5%; 95% CI, 11.2-23.9)


The high prevalence of Chagas disease in the Latin American immigrant population has raised awareness of this disease among professionals involved in the study and treatment of this illness. Further epidemiological studies are needed to establish the feasibility of universal detection programs in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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