Volume 67, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection can reactivate in patients with immunosuppression related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, resulting in severe meningoencephalitis or myocarditis and high parasitemia. The effects of T. cruzi on HIV infection are unknown. We describe an HIV-infected patient with chronic Chagas' disease who experienced an asymptomatic T. cruzi reactivation characterized by the finding of the parasite in direct microscopic examination of blood. The patient's HIV viral load had increased simultaneously with the exacerbation of T. cruzi parasitemia and decreased to previous levels after successful antiparasitic treatment. This otherwise unexplained finding suggests that T. cruzi infection might up-regulate HIV replication, which may affect HIV disease progression. Asymptomatic reactivation of Chagas' disease has not been reported before. This could mean that the severe clinical manifestations related to the reactivation of trypanosomiasis are just the tip of the iceberg.


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