Volume 98, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Achalasia is a motility disorder of the esophagus that might be secondary to a chronic infection. Several studies have investigated esophageal achalasia in patients with Chagas disease (CD) in Latin America, but no related studies have been performed in Colombia. The goals of the present study were to determine the presence of anti- antibodies in patients with esophageal achalasia who visited a referral hospital in Bogotá, Colombia, and to detect the presence of the parasite and its discrete typing units (DTUs). This cross-sectional study was conducted in adult patients (18–65 years old) who were previously diagnosed with esophageal achalasia and from whom blood was drawn to assess antibodies against using four different serological tests. DNA was detected by conventional polymerase chain reaction (cPCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In total, 38 patients, with an average age of 46.6 years (standard deviation of ±16.2) and comprising 16 men and 22 women, were enrolled. Five (13.15%) patients were found to be positive for anti- antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and two patients who were negative according to IFA were reactive by both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot (5.3%). Parasite DNA was detected in two of these seven patients by cPCR and in one of these by qPCR. The parasite DTU obtained was TcI. In summary, this study identified in Colombian patients with esophageal achalasia, indicating that digestive compromise could also be present in patients with chronic CD.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 28 May 2017
  • Accepted : 10 Dec 2017
  • Published online : 05 Feb 2018

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