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Euro Surveill. 2011 Sep 22;16(38). pii: 19974.

Surveillance of Chagas disease in pregnant women in Madrid, Spain, from 2008 to 2010.

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Department of Parasitology, National Microbiology Centre, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.


One of the most important modes of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in areas where it is not endemic is vertical transmission: from mother to child. The objective of this report is to assess the efficacy of different programmes of serological screening to monitor infection with T. cruzi in pregnant Latin American women living in Madrid (Spain). To achieve this, a retrospective study was undertaken from January 2008 to December 2010 in seven hospitals in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. Serological screening programmes were classified in two main strategies: a selective one (pregnant women from Bolivia) and a universal one (pregnant women from Latin America). A total of 3,839 pregnant women were tested and the overall prevalence was 3.96%. The rate of congenital transmission was 2.6%. The current monitoring programmes have variable coverage ranging between 26% (selective screening) and 100% (universal screening). Monitoring of pregnant women from Latin America only reaches full coverage if universal screening of pregnant women is carried out at any moment of pregnancy, including at delivery. A common national regulation is necessary in order to ensure homogenous implementation of screening.

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