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Free Content Serological profiles and evaluation of parasitaemia by PCR and blood culture in individuals chronically infected by Trypanosoma cruzi treated with benzonidazole

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Objective  To evaluate the serological and parasitological status of patients with chronic Chagas disease (CD) after chemotherapy with benzonidazole.

Methods  Retrospective study of patients treated with benzonidazole (5 mg/kg/day for 60 days) between 1980 and 2010. Twenty‐nine patients who had CD confirmed by two reagent immunological tests and/or one positive xenodiagnosis before treatment were included. Conventional serology (ELISA and IIF) and parasitological tests (haemoculture and N‐PCR) were performed.

Results  At the time of treatment, the mean age of patients was 36 ± 7.24 years (20–39 years) and the time post‐treatment varied from 1 to 29 years. After chemotherapy, all individuals had reagent ELISA and 93.1% had positive results for the IIF test. T. cruzi DNA was detected by N‐PCR in 48.3%. Negative results were observed in 41.4% and inconclusive ones in 10.3%. Haemoculture was negative for all individuals.

Conclusions  Our results suggest that N‐PCR may be useful in the early identification of therapeutic failure of CD. Although it is difficult to determine parasitological cure in negative N‐PCR cases, we can infer that this condition represents a declination of parasitaemia as a favourable consequence of aetiological treatment.

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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