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An antibody-dependent, complement-mediated lysis test performed with three Chilean trypomastigote strains used as target cells revealed strain dependence in the detection of lytic antibodies in chronic chagasic sera. The highest percentage of lytic sera was observed when MF or V115 strains were used as target cells (90% and 71%, respectively) in the chronic chagasic group with negative xenodiagnosis results. No significant statistical association was observed between lytic activity in chronic chagasic sera and the presence or absence of cardiopathy (P > 0.01). Western blot analysis showed that lytic sera recognize different antigens depending on the strain used and nonlytic sera had a weaker capacity to detect them.