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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


CARDOSO, Adriana V.N. et al. Survival of Trypanosoma cruzi in sugar cane used to prepare juice. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2006, vol.48, n.5, pp.287-289. ISSN 1678-9946.

Chagas disease can be transmitted to man by many different means, including contact with infected triatomine feces, blood transfusion, laboratory accidents, organ transplants, and congenital or oral routes. The latter mode has received considerable attention recently. In this assay, we evaluate the survival of Trypanosoma cruzi contaminating sugar cane used to prepare juice, as well as the viability and capacity for infection by the parasite after recovery. Thirty triatomines were contaminated with T. cruzi Y strain and 45 days later pieces of sugar cane were contaminated with the intestinal contents of the insects. The pieces were ground at different intervals after contamination (time = 0, 1, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours) and the juice extracted and analyzed. Different methods were used to show T. cruzi in the juice: direct analysis, hematocrit tube centrifugation and QBC, and experimental inoculation in 47 female BALB/c mice (five control mice and seven mice for each interval examined (five inoculated orally and two intraperitoneally). Positive results were found using the direct analysis and QBC methods for juice prepared up to 12 hours after initial contamination. However, by the centrifugation technique, positivity was found only up to four hours after contamination of the sugar cane. Inoculated animals showed parasitemia during a 14 day observation period, demonstrating the high survival rate of T. cruzi in sugar cane.

Keywords : Trypanosoma cruzi; Experimental infection; Sugar cane juice.

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