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Comparison of Trypanosoma cruzi Lineages and Levels of Parasitic DNA in Infected Mothers and Their Newborns

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  • 1 Laboratoire de Chimie Biologique, Faculté de Médecine, Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), Brussels, Belgium; Laboratoire de Parasitologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), Brussels, Belgium; Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Mayor de San Simon (U.M.S.S.), Cochabamba, Bolivia; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France), Mother and Child Health Research Unit (UR010), La Paz, Bolivia; Unidad de Neonatologia, Hospital Universitario “San Juan de Dios,” Tarija, Bolivia
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To better understand the factors involved in maternal–fetal transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, we compared DNA levels—obtained by use of quantitative real-time PCR and parasitic genotypes determined by PCR amplification followed by hybridization—in Bolivian mothers and their congenitally infected newborns. Mothers and their neonates displayed markedly different parasitic DNA levels, as most maternal estimated parasitemias (> 90%) were < 10 parasites/mL, whereas those of 76% of their newborns were > 1,000 parasites/mL. Comparison of T. cruzi TcII sublineages infecting mothers and newborns showed identity, without evidence of mixed infection in mothers or neonates. Analysis of minor variants of TcIId-genotyped parasites using sequence class probes hybridizing with hypervariable domains of kDNA minicircles showed discrepancies in half of mother/newborn pairs.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Michal Svoboda, Laboratoire de Chimie Biologique, Faculté de Médecine, U.L.B., 808 Route de Lennik CP 611, B-1070 Bruxelles, Belgium. E-mail: msvobod@ulb.ac.be.
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