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Congenital Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in Non-Endemic Areas: Evaluation of a Screening Program in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Barcelona, Spain

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  • Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Microbiology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunodeficiencies Unit, Department of Ginecoloy and Obstetrics, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

The impact of Chagas disease is no longer restricted to endemic areas. The aim of this study is to evaluate a 2-year period of a vertical transmission screening program of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in a tertiary care hospital in Barcelona (Spain). Two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (recombinant and crude antigen) were performed in parallel to pregnant women at risk of T. cruzi infection. Discordant results were confirmed by a third diagnostic test. In the case of a positive result, the newborn was tested at birth and after 8 months of life. A total of 1,473 women met the inclusion criteria for the screening program with a resulting seroprevalence for T. cruzi of 3.5% (2.2–5.2% 95% confidence interval [95% CI]). One case of congenital infection was identified. Screening programs for vertically transmitted T. cruzi acute infection are beneficial in non-endemic areas for early detection and treatment of acute infection.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Susana Otero, Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona 08035. E-mail: sotero@vhebron.net

Financial support: There was no dedicated funding for this project.

Authors' addresses: Susana Otero, Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, E-mail: sotero@vhebron.net. Elena Sulleiro, Department of Microbiology, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, E-mail: esulleir@vhebron.net. Israel Molina, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, E-mail: imolina@vhebron.net. Maria Espiau, Andrea Martín-Nalda, and Concepción Figueras, Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunodeficiencies Unit, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, E-mails: mariaespiau@hotmail.com, andmartin@vhebron.net, and cfiguera@vhebron.net. Anna Suy, Department of Ginecoloy and Obstetrics, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, E-mail: anna.suy@gmail.com.

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