Chagas Disease

Chagas Disease

Date: 
01/09/2016
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

In regions where Chagas disease is endemic, canine Trypanosoma cruzi infection is highly correlated with the risk of transmission of the parasite to humans. Herein we evaluated the novel TcTASV protein family (subfamilies A, B, C), differentially expressed in bloodstream trypomastigotes, for the detection of naturally infected dogs. A gene of each TcTASV subfamily was cloned and expressed. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were developed using recombinant antigens individually or mixed together. Our results showed that dogs with active T. cruzi infection differentially reacted against the TcTASV-C subfamily. The use of both TcTASV-C plus TcTASV-A proteins (Mix A+C-ELISA) enhanced the reactivity of sera from dogs with active infection, detecting 94% of the evaluated samples. These findings agree with our previous observations, where the infected animals exhibited a quick anti-TcTASV-C antibody response, coincident with the beginning of parasitaemia, in a murine model of the disease. Results obtained in the present work prove that the Mix A+C-ELISA is a specific, simple and cheap technique to be applied in endemic areas in screening studies. The Mix A+C-ELISA could help to differentially detect canine hosts with active infection and therefore with high impact in the risk of transmission to humans.

Date: 
01/01/2013
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The analytical validation of sensitive, accurate and standardized Real-Time PCR methods for Trypanosoma cruzi quantification is crucial to provide a reliable laboratory tool for diagnosis of recent infections as well as for monitoring treatment efficacy.

METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We have standardized and validated a multiplex Real-Time quantitative PCR assay (qPCR) based on TaqMan technology, aiming to quantify T. cruzi satellite DNA as well as an internal amplification control (IAC) in a single-tube reaction. IAC amplification allows rule out false negative PCR results due to inhibitory substances or loss of DNA during sample processing. The assay has a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.70 parasite equivalents/mL and a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 1.53 parasite equivalents/mL starting from non-boiled Guanidine EDTA blood spiked with T. cruzi CL-Brener stock. The method was evaluated with blood samples collected from Chagas disease patients experiencing different clinical stages and epidemiological scenarios: 1- Sixteen Venezuelan patients from an outbreak of oral transmission, 2- Sixty three Bolivian patients suffering chronic Chagas disease, 3- Thirty four Argentinean cases with chronic Chagas disease, 4- Twenty seven newborns to seropositive mothers, 5- A seronegative receptor who got infected after transplantation with a cadaveric kidney explanted from an infected subject.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The performing parameters of this assay encourage its application to early assessment of T. cruzi infection in cases in which serological methods are not informative, such as recent infections by oral contamination or congenital transmission or after transplantation with organs from seropositive donors, as well as for monitoring Chagas disease patients under etiological treatment.

Date: 
01/07/2012
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

We evaluated the recombinant antigen SAPA (Shed Acute Phase Antigen) for the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies in sera from naturally infected dogs. The technique used was ELISA and the antigens were a homogenate of parasite T. cruzi (ELISA-H) and the recombinant SAPA (ELISA-SAPA). We analyzed 93 sera from dogs by ELISA-H and ELISA-SAPA, which were grouped as follows: G1: 11 negative control sera from the city of Salta, G2: 11 positive control sera from dogs naturally infected with T. cruzi and G3: 71 samples of dogs belonging to a Chagas disease-endemic area. The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA-SAPA were 100 %. The kappa index between ELISA-H and ELISA-SAPA was 0,85. These results confirm the use of SAPA antigen in the diagnosis of infection with T. cruzi in dogs.

Date: 
01/09/2012
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

The biological behavior of the different Trypanosoma cruzi strains is still unclear and the importance of exploring the relevance of these differences in natural isolates is of great significance. Herein we describe the biological behavior of four T. cruzi isolates circulating sympatrically in a restricted geographic area in Argentina endemic for Chagas Disease. These isolates were characterized as belonging to the Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) TcI, TcIII, TcV and TcVI as shown by Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis and Multilocus Sequence Typing. In order to study the natural behavior of the different isolates and to preserve their natural properties, we developed a vector transmission model that allows their maintenance in the laboratory. The model consisted of serial passages of these parasites between insect vectors and mice. Vector-derived parasite forms were then inoculated in C57BL/6J mice and number of parasite in peripheral blood, serological response and histological damage in acute and chronic phases of the infection were measured. Parasites from DTUs TcI, TcIII and TcVI were detected by direct fresh blood examination, while TcV parasites could only be detected by Polimerase Chain Reaction. No significant difference in the anti-T. cruzi antibody response was found during the chronic phase of infection, except for mice infected with TcV parasites where no antibodies could be detected. Histological sections showed that TcI isolate produced more damage in skeletal muscle while TcVI induced more inflammation in the heart. This work shows differential biological behavior among different parasite isolates obtained from the same cycle of transmission, permitting the opportunity to formulate future hypotheses of clinical and epidemiological importance.

Date: 
01/01/2006
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Anti-native DNA antibodies can be detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay with Crithidia luciliae, displaying an annular image due to a kinetoplast containing double stranded DNA. Other structures such as membrane, flagellum and basal corpuscle can be stained as well, showing what is called atypical fluorescent images. As C. luciliae belongs to the Trypanosomatidae family, which include the human pathogens Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp., it was considered that these atypical images could be caused by cross-reactions. Serological studies for Chagas' disease were performed in 105 serum samples displaying atypical images. Sixty four percent of the samples from non endemic and 78.3% from endemic areas for Chagas' disease showed fluorescence in both, membrane and flagellum (joint image). Fifty samples from normal blood donors and 57 samples from patients with conective tissue diseases were tested with C. luciliae. None of them presented the joint image except for two patients with lupus who were also chagasic. In addition, 54 samples from chagasic patients were studied and all of them presented the joint image. We also studied 46 samples from patients with leishmaniasis from whom 28 were coinfected with T. cruzi. The joint image was observed in 88.0% of the samples with leishmaniasis and in 89.3% of the co-infected samples. The results suggest that C. luciliae could be used as an economical, and of low risk, alternative substrate for the serological diagnosis of Chagas' disease, even though it does not discriminate for Leishmania spp. infection. This study also suggests that whenever atypical images are observed in C. luciliae during the search for anti-DNA antibodies, it would be convenient to submit the patient to clinical and serological tests for the diagnosis of leishmaniosis and Chagas' disease.

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