Volume 52, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Chagas' disease is a serious health problem for the population of South and Central America. Blood transfusion is the second most common way in which this disease is transmitted. Several studies have reported finding -infected blood in blood banks in endemic areas. Serum samples were taken from the Red Cross blood bank in Quito, a nonendemic and vector free zone of Ecuador, in December 1992 and May 1993 and analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using crude epimastigote extract from the Brazil strain of . Of 162 samples examined in December 1992, 12.1%, 13.9%, and 74% were seropositive, indeterminate, and seronegative, respectively. Of 173 samples taken in May 1993, 6.2%, 17.9%, 75.9% were seropositive, indeterminate, and seronegative, respectively. Western blot analysis of these sera using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with 7.5% gels separated epimastigote antigen proteins, and revealed a reaction with a 205-kD doublet antigen with most of the seropositive samples. These results indicate the necessity for long-term screening of blood bank donors to reduce the risk of transfusion transmission of the disease even in areas of endemic countries where the vector is not present.


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