Corneal transplantation is the most frequent transplant worldwide. Tissue characteristics allow storage and transport, even between continents, increasing its accessibility around the world. Donor infection with Trypanosoma cruzi is not defined as a corneal discarding factor, although the transplant is not recommended preventively, as in any infectious diseases. Herein, by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategies, we analyzed parasite presence in ocular tissue from 10 deceased donors with Chagas diseases. Among them, positive findings were obtained in corneas, scleras, and eye muscle samples of three, two, and one donor, respectively. Moreover, among the six T. cruzi defined populations, TcV and TcVI parasites were found in some samples based on group-specific amplification strategies. Our findings point out the actual possibility of T. cruzi transmission due to corneal transplantation and makes donor’s serological status knowledge mandatory regardless of graft provenance. Failing that, we suggest a posttransplant follow-up of recipients from seropositive donors.
Address correspondence to Juan Miguel Burgos, Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín Campus Miguelete, 25 de Mayo 1301, San Martín, Buenos Aires 1650, Argentina. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors’ addresses: Gianfranco Alí Santoro and Sofía Belén Drago, Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín (IIBIO-UNSAM), Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Marta Inés Starcenbaum Bouchez and Elisabeth Cittadino, Hospital Oftalmológico Santa Lucía, Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. María Susana Leguizamón and Juan Miguel Burgos, Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín (IIBIO-UNSAM), Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.