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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Chagas Disease in Pregnant Women in Casanare, Colombia

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  • Grupo de Parasitología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia; Laboratorio de Parasitología Molecular, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia; Laboratorio Departamental de Salud Pública, Secretaría de Salud de Casanare, El Yopal, Colombia; Grupo de Transmisibles, Secretaría de Salud Yopal, El Yopal, Colombia

Knowledge of the prevalence and risk factors associated with maternal infection is the first step to develop a surveillance system for congenital transmission of Chagas disease. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Casanare, a disease-endemic area in Colombia. A total of 982 patients were enrolled in the study. A global prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection of 4.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.8–5.3%) was found. Multivariate analysis showed that the most important risk-associated factors were age > 29 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.4, 95% CI = 0.9–12.4), rural residency (aOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.0–4.6), low education level (aOR = 10.2, 95% CI = 1.6–82.7), and previous knowledge of the vector (aOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.0–4.9). Relatives and siblings of infected mothers showed a prevalence of 9.3%. These findings may help physicians to investigate congenital cases, screen Chagas disease in siblings and relatives, and provide early treatment to prevent the chronic complications of Chagas disease.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Zulma M. Cucunubá, Grupo de Parasitología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Avenida Calle 26, No. 51-20, Bogotá, Colombia. E-mails: zcucunuba@ins.gov.co or zcucunuba@gmail.com

Financial support: This study was supported by Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de Colombia Francisco José de Caldas (COLCIENCIAS) grant 1203-459-21581, the Instituto Nacional de Salud, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Secretaría Departamental de Salud de Casanare, and the Secretaría de Salud de El Yopal.

Disclosure: None of the authors have any conflict of interests.

Authors' addresses: Zulma M. Cucunubá, Astrid C. Flórez, Marleny Montilla, and Rubén S. Nicholls, Grupo de Parasitología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia, E-mails: zcucunuba@ins.gov.co, aflorez@ins.gov.co, mmontilla@ins.gov.co, and rnichols@ins.gov.co. Ángela Cárdenas and Lyda C. Ríos, Laboratorio Departamental de Salud Pública, Secretaría de Salud de Casanare, El Yopal, Colombia, Carrera 21 # 08-32 Esquina Parque, General Santander, El Yopal, Casanare, Colombia, E-mails: angelitaccb@hotmail.com and casanarelsp@hotmail.com. Paula Pavía and Concepción J. Puerta, Laboratorio de Parasitología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, E-mails: paulapavia@yahoo.com.ar and cpuerta@javeriana.edu.co. Katherine Villamizar and Rodrigo Aldana, Grupo de Transmisibles, Secretaría de Salud de Yopal, El Yopal, Casanare, Colombia, E-mails: kavigo06@hotmail.com and roveal70@yahoo.es.

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