Volume 81, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Economic hardship and/or political turmoil stimulated migration of –infected population from Latin American countries to the United States and Europe; originating cases of Chagas disease were transmitted through blood, organ donation, and vertical transmission. Hispanic immigrant women of reproductive age in the United States coming from Chagas disease–endemic countries accounted for 2,384,644, and 5,841,538 in 1990 and 2000, respectively. Considering the prevalence rates for infection in their country of origin and the risk of newborns from infected mothers to acquire congenital infection as 1.33% and 5%, we estimated that the number of –infected newborns was 85–318 in 1990 and 166–638 in 2000. Diagnosis of infection in the mother and newborns at risk is needed. A high rate of cure is achieved, almost 100%, when the offspring is treated early. Health authorities, professional associations, physicians, and Hispanic groups should pay more attention to the subject.


Article metrics loading...

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

Full text loading...



  1. WHO, 1991. Control of Chagas’ disease report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 811: 95. [Google Scholar]
  2. WHO, 2002. Control of Chagas’ disease report of a Who Expert Committee. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 905: 109. [Google Scholar]
  3. Torricos F, Carlier Y, 2003. Congenital infection with Trypanosoma cruzi: from mechanisms of transmission to strategies for diagnosis and control. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 36: 767–771. [Google Scholar]
  4. Torrico F, Alonso-Vega C, Suarez E, Rodriguez P, Torrico MC, Dramaix M, Truyens C, Carlier Y, 2004. Maternal Trypanosoma cruzi infection, pregnancy outcome, morbidity, and mortality of congenitally infected and non-infected newborns in Bolivia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70: 201–209. [Google Scholar]
  5. Guzman Bracho C, Lahuerta S, Velasco Castrejon O, 1998. Chagas disease. First congenital case report. Arq Med Res 29: 195–196. [Google Scholar]
  6. Velarde CN, 2005. Chagas disease in Peru: congenital transmission. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 38 (Suppl 2): 55–57. [Google Scholar]
  7. Schmunis G, Szarfman A, 1977. Enfermedad de Chagas congênita. Medicina (B Aires) 37: 47–53. [Google Scholar]
  8. Freilij H, Altcheh J, Storino R, 1994. Chagas congenito. Storino R, Milei J, eds. Enfermedad de Chagas. Buenos Aires: Mosby Doyma, 247–278.
  9. Zaidenberg M, 1999. La enfermedad de Chagas congénita en la provincial de Salta, Argentina, años 1980–1997. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 32: 689–695. [Google Scholar]
  10. Blanco S, Segura EL, Cura E, Chuit R, Tulian L, Flores I, Garbarino G, Villalonga JF, Gurtler RE, 2000. Congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi: an operational outline for detecting and treating infected infants in north-western Argentina. Trop Med Int Health 5: 293–301. [Google Scholar]
  11. Gurtler RE, Segura EL, Cohen JE, 2003. Congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Argentina. Emerg Infect Dis 9: 29–32. [Google Scholar]
  12. Azogue E, Lafuente C, Darras Ch, 1985. Congenital Chagas’ disease in Bolivia: epidemiological aspects and pathological findings. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 79: 176–180. [Google Scholar]
  13. Brutus L, Schneider D, Postigo J, Delgado W, Mollinedo S, Chipaux JP, 2007. Evidence of congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in a vector free area of Bolivia. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 101: 1159–1160. [Google Scholar]
  14. Brutus L, Schneider D, Postigo J, Romero M, Santalla J, Chipaux JP, 2008. Congenital Chagas disease: diagnostic and clinical aspects in an area without vectorial transmission, Bermejo, Bolivia. Acta Trop 106: 195–199. [Google Scholar]
  15. Bittencourt AL, Barbosa HS, 1972. Incidenca da transmissao congenita da doenca de Chagas em abortos. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 14: 257–259. [Google Scholar]
  16. Bittencourt AL, 1976. Congenital Chagas’ disease. A review. Am J Dis Child 130: 97–103. [Google Scholar]
  17. Nisida IV, Amato Neto V, Braz LM, Duarte MI, Umezawa ES, 2005. A survey of congenital Chagas’ disease, carried out at three health institutions in Sao Paulo city, Brazil. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 41: 305–311. [Google Scholar]
  18. Lorca M, Bahamonde MI, Garcia A, Tassara R, Urarte E, Contreras M, Salinas P, Nuñez E, 2005. Infección materna y transmisión transplacentaria del T. cruzi en Chile: diagnostico, tratamiento y control. Rev Soc Bra Med Trop 38(Suppl II): 46–48. [Google Scholar]
  19. Russomando G, de Tomassone MM, de Guillen I, Acosta N, Vera N, Almiron M, Candia N, Calcena MF, Figueredo A, 1998. Treatment of congenital Chagas’ disease diagnosed and followed up by the polymerase chain reaction. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59: 487–491. [Google Scholar]
  20. Russomando G, Almiron M, Candia N, Franco L, Sanchez Z, Guillen I, 2005. Implementación de un sistema localmente sustentable de diagnostico prenatal que permite detectar casos de transmisión congénita de la enfermedad de Chagas en Paraguay. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 38 (Suppl II): 49–57. [Google Scholar]
  21. Schmunis GA, 1994. Panamerican Health Organization, ed. American Trypanosomiasis as a public health problem. Chagas Disease and the Nervous System. Washington, DC: PAHO. PAHO Scientific Publication, 547: 3–29.
  22. Organización Panamericana de la Salud, 2006. Estimación Cuantitativa de la Enfermedad de Chagas en las Americas. Montevideo: Organización Panamericana de la Salud, 28.
  23. Schmunis GA, 1991. Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease: status in the blood supply in endemic and no endemic countries. Transfusion 31: 547–557. [Google Scholar]
  24. Schmunis GA, 2007. The globalization of Chagas disease. Int Soc Blood Transfusion Series 2: 6–11. [Google Scholar]
  25. Geiseler PJ, Ito JI, Tegtmeier BR, Kerndt PR, Krance R, 1987. Fulminant Chagas disease (CD) in bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Abstract of the 1987 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 169. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology, 4181.
  26. Villalba R, Fornes G, Alvarez MA, Roman I, Rubio V, Fernandez M, Garcia JM, Vinal M, Torres A, 1992. Acute Chagas’ disease in a recipient of a bone marrow transplant in Spain: case report. Clin Infect Dis 14: 594–595. [Google Scholar]
  27. Leibi DA, Lenes BA, Tibbals MA, Tames-Olmedo MT, 1999. Prospective evaluation of patient with Trypanosoma cruzi transmitted by transfusion. N Engl J Med 341: 1237–1239. [Google Scholar]
  28. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000. Chagas disease after organ transplantation—United States. MMWR 51: 210–212. [Google Scholar]
  29. Pehrson PO, Wahlgren M, Bengtsson E, 1981. Asymptomatic congenital Chagas’disease in a five-year-old child. Scand J Infect Dis 13: 307–308. [Google Scholar]
  30. Riera C, Guarro A, El-Kassab H, Jorba JM, Castro M, Angril R, Gallego M, Fisa R, Martin C, Lobato A, Portus M, 2006. Congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in Europe (Spain): a case report. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75: 1078–1081. [Google Scholar]
  31. Guarro A, El-Kassab H, Jorba JM, Lobato A, Castro M, Martin C, Angrill R, Corcoy F, Riera C, 2007. Un caso de transmisión congénita de la enfermedad de Chagas en Cataluña. Enfermedades Emergentes. 9: 28–35. [Google Scholar]
  32. Muñoz J, Portus M, Corachan M, Fumado V, Gazcon J, 2007. Congenital Trypanosoma cruzi infection in non endemic area. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 101: 1161–1162. [Google Scholar]
  33. Jackson Y, Myers C, Diana A, Marti H-P, Wolff H, Chappuis F, Loutan L, Gervaix A, 2009. Congenital transmission of Chagas disease in Latin American immigrants in Switzerland. Emerg Infect Dis 15: 601–603. [Google Scholar]
  34. Leiby DA, Fucci MH, Stumpf RJ, 1999. Trypanosoma cruzi in a low-to moderate-risk blood donor population: seroprevalence and possible congenital transmission. Transfusion 39: 310–317. [Google Scholar]
  35. U.S. Census Bureau, 1990–2000. American Fact Finder. Available at: http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en. Accessed May 30, 2007.
  36. Sutton PD, Mathews TJ, 2006. Birth and fertility rate by Hispanic origin subgroups: United States, 1990 and 2000. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 21 57: 102. [Google Scholar]
  37. Akavan D, 2000. Analise de Custo-Efetividade do Programa de Controle da Doenca de Chagas no Brasil. Brasilia, DF, Brazil: Organizacao Pan-Americana da Saude, 271.
  38. Velasco-Castrejón O, Valdespino JL, Tapia-Conyer R, Salvatierra B, Guzmán-Bracho C, Magos C, Llausás A, Gutiérrez G, Sepúlveda J, 1992. Seroepidemiology of Chagas disease in México. Salud Publica Mex 34: 186–196. [Google Scholar]
  39. Oficina Sanitaria Panamericana, 2003. Quinta Reunión de la Comisión Intergubernamental de la Iniciativa de los países de Centro America, para la interrupción de la Transmisión Vectorial y Transfusional de la enfermedad de Chagas. San José, Costa Rica: OPS/HCP/HCT/235/03.
  40. Carrasco R, Miguez H, Camacho C, Echalar L, Revollo S, Ampuero T, Dedet J, 1990. Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in blood banks of seven departments of Bolivia. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 85: 69–73. [Google Scholar]
  41. Leiby D. American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. Available at: http://chapters.redcross.org/ca/norcal/phys/transfus_tcruzi.html. Accessed June 26, 2008.
  42. Buekens P, Almendares O, Carlier Y, Dumonteil E, Eberhard M, Gamboa-Lleon R, James M, Padilla N, Wesson D, Xiong X, 2008. Mother to child transmission of Chagas’ disease in North America: why we don’t do more. Matern Child Health J 12: 283–286. [Google Scholar]
  43. Di Pentima MC, Hwang LY, Skeeter CM, Edwards MS, 1999. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in pregnant Hispanic women in Houston. Clin Infect Dis 28: 1281–1285. [Google Scholar]
  44. Hermann E, Truyens C, Alonso-Vega C, Rodriguez P, Berthe A, Torrico F, Carlier Y, 2004. Congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi is associated with maternal enhanced parasitemia and decreased production of interferon-g in response to parasite antigens. J Infect Dis 189: 1274–1281. [Google Scholar]
  45. Miles MA, Feliciangeli DM, Rojas de Arias A, 2003. American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and the role of molecular epidemiology in guiding control strategies. BMJ 326: 1444–1448. [Google Scholar]
  46. Devera R, Fernandes O, Coura JR, 2003. Should Trypanosoma cruzi be called “cruzi” complex? A review of the parasite diversity and the potential of selecting population after in vitro culturing and mice infection. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 98: 1–12. [Google Scholar]
  47. Malan AK, Avelar E, Litwin SE, Hill HR, Litwin CM, 2006. Serological diagnosis, of Trypanosoma cruzi: evaluation of three enzyme immunoassays and an indirect immunofluorescent assay. J Med Microbiol 55: 171–178. [Google Scholar]
  48. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2009. Available at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/devicesatfda/index.cfm?SearchTerm=866.3870. Accessed August 1, 2009.
  49. Bern C, Montgomery P, Herwaldt BL, Rassi A, Marin-Neto JA, Dantas RO, Maguire JH, Acquatella H, Morillo C, Kirchhoff LV, Gilman RH, Reyes PA, Salvatella R, Moore AC, 2007. Evaluation and treatment of Chagas disease. JAMA 298: 2171–2181. [Google Scholar]
  50. Russomando G, Figueredo A, Almiron M, Sakamoto M, Morita K, 1992. Polimerase chain reaction-based detection of DNA in serum. J Clin Microbiol 30: 2864–2868. [Google Scholar]
  51. Schijman AG, Altcheh J, Burgos JM, Biancardi M, Bisio M, Levin MJ, Freilij H, 2003. Aetiological treatment of congenital Chagas disease diagnosed and monitored by the polymerase chain reaction. J Antimicrob Chemother 52: 441–449. [Google Scholar]
  52. Workshop & Symposium. Estandarizacion y validacion del uso clinico de la reaccion en cadena de la polimerasa para deteccion de infeccion por Trypanosoma cruzi, November 17–22, 2008, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  53. Stagno S, Hurtado R, 1970. Trypanosoma cruzi: una nueva causa de infección congénita capaz de inducir la formación de antricuerpos IgM. Bol Chil Parasitol 25: 90–91. [Google Scholar]
  54. Szarfman A, Otati L, Schmunis G, Vilches A, 1973. A simple method for the detection of human congenital chagas disease. J Parasitol 59: 723. [Google Scholar]
  55. Lorca M, Veloso CI, Munoz P, Bahamonde MI, Garcia A, 1995. Diagnostic value of detecting specific IgA and IgM with recombinant Trypanosoma cruzi antigens in congenital Chagas disease. Am J Trop Med Hyg 52: 512–515. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...


  • Received : 12 May 2009
  • Accepted : 05 Aug 2009

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