Nasser JR

Date: 
01/09/2013
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the ability of recombinant antigens to detect cases of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi among cases of infection with Leishmania spp. by serological methods.

METHODS:

Sera from 41 patients infected with Leishmania spp. were evaluated with ELISA using single (FRA, CP1 and TSSAVI) or pooled (commercial Rec-ELISA) recombinant proteins or homogenate antigens (commercial H-ELISA). As there is no gold standard antigen to discriminate Chagas disease from leishmaniasis, the correlation of results between defined antigens and the homogenate was made with Kappa Index (KI), the level of correlation considered being used as a criterion of specificity.

RESULTS:

Single recombinant antigens and Rec-ELISA showed good correlation (KI > 0.8). A low correlation (KI < 0.66) was observed between the results from single recombinant antigens or the commercial recombinant kit and H-ELISA.

CONCLUSIONS:

The highly correlated results between T. cruzi single or pooled recombinant proteins are indicative of the usefulness of recombinant antigens for Chagas diagnosis. Our results also indicate that in the city of Oran in Argentina, between 12% and 17% of patients with leishmaniasis are also infected with Chagas disease. The high KI values between TSSAVI and the other recombinant proteins suggest that in these patients, the infection may be caused by T. cruzi II and/or V and/or VI lineages.

Date: 
01/10/2013
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

A total of 221 children from two rural settlements in Northeast Argentina were examined for T. cruzi infection. Blood samples were taken for serology tests and PCR assays. In addition, T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) were determined by hybridization with specific DNA probes of the minicircle hypervariable regions (mHVR). Serological results indicated that 26% (57/215) were reactive against T. cruzi antigens. PCR analyses were performed on seropositive samples showing presence of parasite DNA in 31 out of 53 samples (58.5%). All seropositive children underwent specific chemotherapy with Benznidazole (5mg/kg/day) for a period of two months and were monitored two and five years after treatment. Overall the treatment was well tolerated and low side effects were observed. Serological conversion was observed at two years post -treatment in one child form Pampa Ávila and at five years in two children from Tres Estacas. However, at the end of the follow-up period, T. cruzi DNA could not be detected by PCR in samples from treated children, except in two cases. In addition, the results of hybridizations with specific DNA probes showed that DTU TcV was detected in 68% (21/31), TcVI in 7% (2/31) and TcV/VI in 3% (1/31) of the samples. Altogether, results of the follow-up of treated children showed a low rate of seroconversion; however trend toward seroconversion was evident at five years post-treatment. On the other hand, detection of T. cruzi DNA by PCR significantly decreased after Benznidazole treatment. The existence of data regarding serological and molecular follow-ups from controlled studies in the Chaco Region will be important for future treatment efforts against T. cruzi infection in this region. The results obtained in the present study represent a contribution in this regard.