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PLoS One. 2019 Oct 9;14(10):e0223611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223611. eCollection 2019.

Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in active military population of The Colombian National Army gathered in five departments.

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Grupo de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales del Ejército (GINETEJ), Laboratorio de Referencia e Investigación, Dirección de Sanidad, Bogotá, Colombia.



The National Army of Colombia is present in all of the national territory, focused in sylvatic zones where they are exposed continually to potential risk of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of the Chagas disease. People of this study were active personal that were born and lived during their first years in endemic areas of transmission through domiciled vectors as Rhodnius prolixus.


The main aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Chagas disease in the active military population of the National Army, gathered in five departments.


An observational and descriptive study with cross-sectional analysis was carried out. Blood sample each patient in order to apply serological diagnosis by two different Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay tests, following the algorithm of National Institute of Health, Colombia. In cases of serum results with inconsistencies, a Hemagglutination Inhibition test and Indirect Immunofluorescence assay test were performed to solve inconclusiveness. Positive samples by two different tests were considered seropositive. Additionally, to each positive sample by at least one serological test, we did extraction of DNA for molecular diagnosis.


295 serums were analyzed and two of them were positive in order to get a prevalence of 0.68%. Two samples analyzed by molecular diagnosis were negative.


The prevalence was < 1% It is probable the infection in the seropositive individuals occurred before enlisting in the military service due to origin locations with transmission such as Casanare and Boyacá. These findings allow defining the prevention and control programs of chronic cases and reduction in the disease burden.

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Conflict of interest statement

The commercial funder (Drummond Company Ltd) has not role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript, therefore this does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. Finally, the authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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