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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 1989 Jan-Mar;22(1):19-23.

Hemocultures for the parasitological diagnosis of human chronic Chagas' disease.


With the purpose of standardization of an hemoculture technique presenting a higher positive rate in the parasitological diagnosis of chronic Chagas' disease in patients with reactive serology (IFT, HA, CFT) the following schedule was used. Thirty ml of venous blood was collected with heparin and the plasma was separated by centrifugation (2.000 rpm/30'). The packed cells were washed with LIT medium or PBS which was then removed by centrifugation (2.000 rpm/15'). This material was sampled in 6 screw-tubes 18 x 200 with 6 ml of LIT medium and incubated at 28 degrees C. These incubated cultures at 28 degrees C were examined after 15, 30, 45 and 60 days. When the hemoculture was not immediately processed after blood collection, the plasma was removed and the sediment enriched with LIT medium and preserved at 4 degrees C. The Xenodiagnosis was performed according to Schenone's method used here as a reference technique. Among the various groups of patients examined by both techniques the best results obtained were: 55.08% of positivity for hemocultures against 27.5% for xenodiagnosis (X2 = 4.54, p = 0.05), with a tube positivity of 26.6%. Recommendation for screening trials of drug assays is the repetition of method on a same patient 2 or more times in different occasions, as used in xenodiagnosis.

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