It is recognized that breast feeding is an alternative means of transmission of Chagas disease. However, thermal treatment of milk can prevent this occurrence. As domestic microwave ovens are becoming commonplace, the efficacy of microwave thermal treatment in inactivating Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes in human milk was tested. Human milk samples infected with T. cruzi trypomastigotes (Y strain) from laboratory-infected mice, were heated to 63 °C in a domestic microwave oven (2 450 MHz, 700 W). Microscopical and serological examinations demonstrated that none of the animals inoculated orally or intraperitoneally with infected milk which had been treated, got the infection, while those inoculated with untreated, infected milk, became infected. It was concluded that the simple treatment prescribed, which can easily be done at home, was effective in inactivating T. cruzi trypomastigotes contained in human milk.
Trypanosoma cruzi; Microwave thermal treatment