INTRODUCTION: A seroepidemiological and clinical study was conducted on 152 autochthonous individuals living in the district of Barcelos, State of Amazonas, to evaluate the seroprevalence of Chagas infection and morbidity of Chagas disease. METHODS: The serological tests used were indirect immunofluorescence, conventional and recombinant ELISA and immunoblot (Tesa-blot). Thirty-eight patients were considered seropositive; 31 were considered serodoubtful; and 83 were considered seronegative. The 38 seropositive cases were paired with 38 seronegative controls of the same age and sex, and underwent epidemiological and clinical evaluations, electrocardiograms and echocardiograms. Twenty-nine pairs underwent radiological examinations of the esophagus. RESULTS: Seropositivity was 19.9 times more frequent among workers gathering plant materials from the forests and 10.4 times more frequent among piassaba gatherers. Eighty six point seven percent of the seropositive individuals recognized the genus Rhodnius as the local vector, while only 34.2% of the seronegative individuals recognized this. The EKG was abnormal in 36.8% of the seropositive individuals and in 21.5% of the seronegative individuals, while the echocardiogram showed abnormalities in 31.6% of the seropositive and 18.4% of the seronegative individuals. Precordialgia and palpitation were more frequent among the seropositive individuals. Clinical evaluation on the digestive system and X-ray on the esophagus did not show significant abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Chagas disease in the study region can be considered to be an occupational disease.
Chagas disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; Morbidity; State of Amazonas