Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
versión impresa ISSN 0074-0276
BRITTO, Constança et al. Parasite persistence in treated chagasic patients revealed by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2001, vol.96, n.6, pp. 823-826. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762001000600014.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was compared with xenodiagnosis performed 20 years after trypanocidal chemotherapy to investigate parasite clearance. Eighty-five seropositive individuals for Chagas disease presenting a positive xenodiagnosis were treated with specific drugs; 37 in the acute phase and 48 in the chronic phase. Fifteen chronic assymptomatic patients received a placebo. Treatment in the acute phase led to PCR negative results in 73% of the cases, while xenodiagnosis was negative in 86%. In the chronic phase, PCR was negative in 65% of the patients and 83% led to xenodiagnosis negative results. Regarding the untreated group (placebo), 73% gave negative results by xenodiagnosis, of which 36% were positive by PCR. Individuals that were considered seronegative (n=10), presented unequivocally negative results in the PCR demonstrating the elimination of parasite DNA. Seventeen individuals had their antibodies titers decreased to such a level that the final results were considered as doubtful and 16 of them presented negative PCR. The molecular method represents a clear advantage over conventional techniques to demonstrate persistent infections in Chagas disease patients that underwent chemotherapy.
Palabras llave : Trypanosoma cruzi; kinetoplast DNA; Chagas disease; PCR; treatment.