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Possible oral transmission of acute Chagas' disease in Brazil

By M.A. Shikanai-Yasuda, C. Brisola Marcondes, L. A. Guedes, G.S. Siqueira, A.A. Barone, J.C.P. Dias, V. Amato Neto, J.E. Tolezano, B.A. Peres, E.R. Arruda Jr., M.H. Lopes, M. Shiroma and E. Chapadeiro


In October, 1986, 7 to 22 days after a meeting at a farm in Paraíba state, 26 individuals presented with a febrile illness associated with bilateral eyelid and lower limb edema, mild hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy and, occasionally a skin rash. A 11-year-old boy exhibited atrial premature complexes and a 74-year-old patient developed acute heart failure. In two patients hospitalized in São Paulo city, acute Chagas' disease was diagnosed by the demonstration of circulating Trypanosoma cruzi. At autopsy in a fatal case, acute Chagas' cardiomyopathy was demonstrated. Xenodiagnosis were positive in 9 out of 14 tested patients. A specific IgG immune response was found in all patients and specific IgM antibodies were identified in 20 out of 22 tested patients. A epidemiological survey showed the existence of Triatoma brasiliensis in the outbuildings of this farm, but none in the house where most of the guests stayed. A high rate of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi was found in opossums. These observations together with those related to the food consumed by the patients, lead the authors to suggest that the human infections resulted from oral contamination probably originating from naturally infected marsupials in the area or crushed infected bugs

Publisher: Instituto de Medicina Tropical
Year: 1991
DOI identifier: 10.1590/s0036-46651991000500003
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