Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The major cause of morbidity and mortality in Chagas' disease is a chronic inflammatory cardiomyopathy, which presents ten or more years following initial infection. Demonstration of in cardiac tissue by routine microscopy or culture is difficult in these patients, which has suggested that persistent organisms are not required for chronic disease. Consequently, studies have focused on elucidating an autoimmune pathogenesis of chronic injury. To further assess the persistence of in host tissue, DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded autopsy specimens from seronegative or seropositive patients was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction using -specific primers. DNA sequences were not consistently amplified from four seropositive patients who lacked evidence of fatal chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC) (0 positive of 12 heart samples, 0 positive of four gonadal samples, and 0 positive of four adrenal samples) or nine seronegative patients (0 positive of 27 heart samples, 0 positive of nine gonadal samples and 0 positive of nine adrenal samples). In seven seropositive patients with severe CCC, cardiac tissue adjacent to inflammatory infiltrates yielded amplified DNA sequences in 18 of 21 heart samples. Parallel testing of gonadal and adrenal tissues from these same patients produced detectable DNA in none of the gonadal tissue samples and one of the seven adrenals. Our studies demonstrate that , or a portion of its genome, is present in the inflammatory lesion of chronic cardiac Chagas' disease.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error