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Parasitology. 2012 Apr;139(4):516-21. doi: 10.1017/S0031182011002186. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units in Chagas disease patients from endemic and non-endemic regions of Argentina.

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Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de la Enfermedad de Chagas, Instituto de Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular, Vuelta de Obligado 2490, 2do piso, 1428, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Genetic diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi may play a role in pathogenesis of Chagas disease forms. Natural populations are classified into 6 Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) Tc I-VI with taxonomical status. This study aimed to identify T. cruzi DTUs in bloodstream and tissue samples of Argentinean patients with Chagas disease. PCR-based strategies allowed DTU identification in 256 clinical samples from 239 Argentinean patients. Tc V prevailed in blood from both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases and Tc I was more frequent in bloodstream, cardiac tissues and chagoma samples from immunosuppressed patients. Tc II and VI were identified in a minority of cases, while Tc III and Tc IV were not detected in the studied population. Interestingly, Tc I and Tc II/VI sequences were amplified from the same skin biopsy slice from a kidney transplant patient suffering Chagas disease reactivation. Further data also revealed the occurrence of mixed DTU populations in the human chronic infection. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of the complexity of the dynamics of T. cruzi diversity in the natural history of human Chagas disease and allege the pathogenic role of DTUs I, II, V and VI in the studied population.

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