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International meeting: new diagnostic tests are urgently needed to treat patients with Chagas disease

Reunião internacional: novos testes diagnósticos são necessários urgentemente para tratar pacientes com doença de Chagas

Trypanosoma cruzi infection is often not detected early on or actively diagnosed, partly because most infected individuals are either asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic. Moreover, in most places, neither blood banks nor healthcare units offer diagnostic confirmation or treatment access. By the time patients present clinical manifestations of advanced chronic Chagas disease, specific treatment with current drugs usually has limited effectiveness. Better-quality serological assays are urgently needed, especially rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosis patients in both acute and chronic phases, as well as for confirming that a parasitological cure has been achieved. Some new antigen combinations look promising and it is important to assess which ones are potentially the best, together with their requirements in terms of investigation and development. In August 2007, a group of specialized researchers and healthcare professionals met to discuss the state of Chagas infection diagnosis and to build a consensus for a plan of action to develop efficient, affordable, accessible and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for Chagas disease. This technical report presents the conclusions from that meeting.

Trypanosoma cruzi; Chagas infection; Rapid diagnostic tests; Serology; Chagas disease

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