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Chagas Disease pp 141-158 | Cite as

Diagnosis of Chagas Disease

  • Alejandro O. Luquetti
  • Alejandro G. SchijmanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)

Abstract

Diagnosis of Chagas disease is related to the phase of this protozoan infection. For acute phase, parasitological methods are preferred and for the chronic phase, serological ones. Parasitological methods comprise from the simplest wet smear, going through alternatives as concentration methods and tests that involve the multiplication of the parasite in media (hemoculture), triatomine insects (xenodiagnosis), or animals (inoculation of susceptible mammals), to more sophisticated molecular tests as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). All have indications, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as costs, all of which will be detailed in this chapter. Among serological tests, a vast repertoire has been also developed and standardized, from the simplest indirect hemagglutination to the sophisticated CMIA, including indirect immunofluorescence, ELISA, and rapid tests. As all are indirect tests, it is recommended to use at least two of them for a concluding laboratory result, in order to confirm or exclude the infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. Diagnosis may be used in different contexts as confirmation of the infection, exclusion of blood donors, epidemiological survey, congenital infection, or follow-up after specific treatment. In order to have a precise diagnosis, it is necessary to have commercial kits of proved performance and good laboratory practices, for which permanent training of laboratory personnel is mandatory. An external quality control will prove that these conditions have been fulfilled.

Keywords

Chagas disease Trypanosoma cruzi Diagnosis Polymerase chain reaction Loop-mediated isothermal amplification Parasitological tests ELISA Congenital infection Trypanocidal treatment Reactivation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro O. Luquetti
    • 1
  • Alejandro G. Schijman
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Núcleo de Estudos da doença de Chagas (NEDoC), Hospital das ClínicasFederal University of GoiasGoianiaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de la Enfermedad de ChagasInstituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular “Dr. Hector Torres” (INGEBI-CONICET)Ciudad de Buenos AiresArgentina

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