Volume 68, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Serologic evidence of infection was demonstrated in 43.5% of 519 Paleoamerindians and in only 2.5% of 161 non-Indians (Mennonites of German descent and Paraguayans of Spanish descent) inhabiting an area of western Paraguay that belongs to the Gran Chaco territory. These people ranged in age between two and 80 years. All were also tested for infection with the human T cell lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II). The prevalence of HTLV-II infection was 22.1% in Indians and 3.7% in non-Indians. As determined by a multivariate logistic regression analysis that controlled for relevant confounders, an HTLV-II-infected individual was 2.28 times more likely to be seropositive for than an HTLV-II negative. Possible explanations for this finding are discussed. The difference in prevalence between Indians and non-Indians was associated with differences between these groups in exposure to known risk factors for infection with the parasite. There were significant differences in the seroprevalence of among the two predominant Indian groups, even when they inhabited communities that were close to each other. These differences were associated with differences in the prevalence of HTLV-II infection but not with differences in exposure to known risk factors for infection. Infection with increased with age, was greater in males than in females, and clustered in families.


Article metrics loading...

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

Full text loading...



  1. World Health Organization Expert Committee, 1991. Control of Chagas Disease. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 811 : 1–95. [Google Scholar]
  2. Storino R, Barragan H, 1994. Epidemiologia. Storino R, Milei J, eds. Enfermedad de Chagas. Madrid: Mosby-Doyma Press, 51–74.
  3. Gorla DE, Schofield CJ, 1989. Population dynamics of Triatoma infestans under natural climatic conditions in the Argentine Chaco. Med Vet Entomol 3 : 179–194. [Google Scholar]
  4. Kirchhoff L, Gam A, Gilliam F, 1987. American trypanosomiasis (Chagas’ disease) in Central American immigrants. Am J Med 82 : 915–920. [Google Scholar]
  5. Schmuñis GA, 1991. Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas’ disease: status in the blood supply in endemic and non-endemic countries. Transfusion 31 : 547–557. [Google Scholar]
  6. Mott KE, Miniz TM, Lehman JS Jr, Hoff R, Morrow RH, Oliveira TS, Sherlock IA, Draper CC, 1978. House construction, triatomine distribution and household distribution of seroreactivity to Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural community in northeast Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 27 : 1116–1122. [Google Scholar]
  7. Gürtler RE, Chuit R, Cécere MC, Castañera MB, Cohen JE, Segura EL, 1998. Household prevalence of seropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi in three rural villages in northwest Argentina: environmental, demographic, and entomologic associations. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59 : 741–749. [Google Scholar]
  8. Gürtler RE, Cohen JE, Cécere MC, Lauricella MA, Chuit R, Segura EL, 1998. Influence of humans and domestic animals in the household prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in Triatoma infestans populations in northwest Argentina. Am J Trop Med Hyg 58 : 748–758. [Google Scholar]
  9. Basombrio MA, Segovia A, Peralta-Ramos M, Esteban E, Stumpf R, Jurgensen RP, Winkler MA, Sayre K, Ferrer JF, 1999. Endemic Trypanozoma cruzi infection in Indian populations of the Gran Chaco territory of South America. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 93 : 41–48. [Google Scholar]
  10. Ferrer JF, Esteban E, Dube S, Basombrio MA, Segovia A, Peralta-Ramos M, Dube D K, Sayre K, Aguayo N, Hengst J, Poiesz BJ, 1996. Endemic infection with the human T lymphotropic virus type IIB in Argentinean and Paraguayan Indians: epidemiology and molecular characterization. J Infect Dis 174 : 944–953. [Google Scholar]
  11. Ferrer JF, Jonsson CB, Esteban E, Galligan D, Basombrio MA, Peralta-Ramos M, Bharadwaj M, Torrez-Martinez N, Callahan J, Segovia A, Hjelle B, 1998. High prevalence of hantavirus infection in Indian communities of the Paraguayan and Argentinean Gran Chaco. Am J Trop Med Hyg 58 : 438–444. [Google Scholar]
  12. Kierszenbaum F, Sztein MB, 1994. Chagas’ disease (American trypanosomiasis). Kierszenbaum F, ed. Parasitic Infections and the Immune System. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 53–85.
  13. Murphy EL, Glynn SA, Fridey J, Smith JW, Sacher RA, Nass CC, Ownby HE, Wright DJ, Nemo GJ, 1999. Increased incidence of infectious disease during prospective follow-up of human lymphotropic virus type-II-and I-infected blood donors. Arch Intern Med 159 : 1485–1491. [Google Scholar]
  14. Murphy EL, Glynn SA, Fridey J, Sacher RA, Smith JW, Wright DJ, Newman B, Gibble JW, Ameti DI, Nass CC, Schreiber GB, Nemo GJ, 1997. Increased prevalence of infectious diseases and other adverse outcomes in human T lymphotropic virus type I-and II-infected blood donors. J Infect Dis 176 : 1468–1475. [Google Scholar]
  15. Modahl LE, Young KC, Varney KF, Khayam-Bashi H, Murphy EL, 1997. Injection drug users seropositive for HTLV-II are at increased risk for pneumonia, abscess and lymphoadenopathy. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 16 : 169–175. [Google Scholar]
  16. Gonzalez LM, Lindsey AE, Hjelle B, Dominguez D, Brown J, Jonsson CB, 2001. Prevalence of antibodies to Sin Nombre virus in humans living in rural areas of southern New Mexico and western Texas. Virus Res 74 : 177–179. [Google Scholar]
  17. Allison P, 1999. Logistic Regression Using the SAS System: Theory and Application. Cary NC: SAS Institute, Inc., 31–78.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 14 Feb 2002
  • Accepted : 20 Jun 2002

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