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Vox Sang. 1993;64(1):1-12.

Chagas' disease and blood transfusion: a New World problem?

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Hospital Sirio-Libanes Blood Bank, São Paulo, Brazil.


American trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease) can be transmitted by blood transfusion. For almost 40 years, this transmission has been limited to Latin America, but recently, three cases have been reported in the USA and Canada. With increasing emigration to North America and Europe, Chagas' disease may be introduced to the Northern hemisphere by transfusion of blood from carriers. This review will focus on the discovery, biology and antigenic profile of Trypanosoma cruzi (the aetiological agent of Chagas' disease), including the invertebrate vectors, animal reservoirs and transmission to humans, with special reference to blood transfusion. Finally, diagnostic tests and prophylactic measures for the prevention of Chagas' disease will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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