Volume 89, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



is the etiological agent of a life-threatening illness. Thin blood smear is the most common diagnostic method for acute infection in endemic areas of Peru but remains of limited value because of low sensitivity. The aim of this study was to adapt a -specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for use with dried blood spots (DBS) as a sampling method and assess its performance and use for the diagnosis and surveillance of acute infection. Only two of 65 children (3%) that participated in this study had positive blood smears for , whereas 16 (including these two) were positive by PCR performed on DBS samples (24.6%). The use of DBS in combination with -specific PCR could be a useful tool for public health in identifying and monitoring outbreaks of infection and designing control programs to reduce the burden of this life-threatening illness.


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  • Received : 08 May 2013
  • Accepted : 05 Aug 2013
  • Published online : 06 Nov 2013

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