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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2009 Jul;104 Suppl 1:115-21.

Diagnosis of Chagas disease: what has been achieved? What remains to be done with regard to diagnosis and follow up studies?

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Laboratório de Imunoparasitologia, Departamento de Imunologia, Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães-Fiocruz, Recife, PE, Brasil.


In the acute phase and in the chronic forms of Chagas disease, the etiological diagnosis may be performed by detection of the parasite using direct or indirect parasitological methods and by the presence of antibodies in the serum by way of serological tests. Several techniques are easily available, ranging from the simplest wet smear preparation to immuno-enzymatic assays with recombinant antigens that will meet most diagnostic needs. Other tests under evaluation include a molecular test using polymerase chain reaction, which has shown promising results and may be used as a confirmatory test both in the acute and chronic phases of the disease. Better rapid tests are needed for diagnosis, some of which are already under evaluation. Additionally, there is a need for tools that can identify patients cured shortly after specific treatment. Other needs include a marker for prognosis and early diagnosis of congenital transmission.

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