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Does a spontaneous cure for chagas' disease exist?

Six Costa Rican Chagas' disease patients, with wellknown acute phase history and no specific treatment were examined in several occasions during 39, 24, 32, 16 and 14 years, respectively, from the onset. Nome of the patients presented heart abnormalities as revealed by the conventional EKG and ergometry, exceptfor one of them with an incomplete block of the right bundle branch. Also, no alterations of the oesophagus motility was detected manometrically except for another patient who presented a slight hypersensivity reaction to a pharmacological test (Mecholyl). Three out of six patients became serologically negative in 1981, remaining as such until 1986. Besides the conventional serology, the search of protective ("lytic") antibodies was also performed in 1985 and 1986, being completely negative in one of the "cured" patients and dubious in the other two. The hypothesis that these three patients had as spontaneous cure, based on the clinical, serological and parasitologica l findings is discussed.

American trypanosomiasis; Chagas' disease; Spontaneous cure; Longitudinal studies

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