Volume 55, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Formation of inflammatory lesions, one of the pathologic consequences of infection with , involves intricate cell-cell interactions in which cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are involved. Sera from 56 Chagas' disease patients grouped according to disease severity were studied for the presence of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (s-ICAM-1), soluble endothelial selectin (s-E-selectin), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (s-VCAM-1), soluble platelet selectin (s-P-selectin), and s-CD44 were studied to determine if they could be used alone or in different combinations as markers for specific diagnostic procedures. Comparisons were made between congenitally, acutely, and chronically infected patients and aged-matched, noninfected individuals, as well as between patients with chronic Chagas' disease grouped according to the severity of their heart-related pathology No differences in levels of s-CAMs were detected between sera from children with congenital infection and sera from noninfected infants born from chagasic mothers. In contrast, titers of s-ICAM-1, s-VCAM-1, s-selectin, and s-CD44 but not s-P-selectin were significantly increased in sera from patients during the acute phase of infection with . Titers of s-VCAM-1 and s-P-selectin were increased in chronically infected patients. A positive association with disease severity in sera from patients with chronic disease was observed for the levels of s-P-selectin. In contrast, we found no association between clinical symptoms and levels of s-VCAM-1. Patients with chronic disease with severe cardiopathy also showed diminished levels of s-CD44 in comparison with healthy controls or patients with mild disease. The results are discussed in the context of pathology of Chagas' disease.


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