Epidemiology and Infection

Other infections

Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in pregnant Latin American women and congenital transmission rate in a non-endemic area: the experience of the Valencian Health Programme (Spain)

C. BARONA-VILARa1a2a3 c1, M. J. GIMÉNEZ-MARTÍa4, T. FRAILEa5, C. GONZÁLEZ-STEINBAUERa1, C. PARADAa6, A. GIL-BRUSOLAa4, D. BRAVOa7, M. D. GÓMEZa4, D. NAVARROa7a8, A. PEREZ-TAMARITa9, L. FERNANDEZ-SILVEIRAa9, A. FULLANA-MONTOROa1a2 and R. BORRÁSa7a8

a1 Department of Health, General Directorate of Public Health, Generalitat Valenciana, Spain

a2 Centre for Public Health Research (CSISP), Valencia, Spain

a3 Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health, CIBERESP, Spain

a4 Department of Microbiology, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain

a5 Department of Microbiology, Consorcio Hospital General, Valencia, Spain

a6 Centre for Blood Transfusions, Valencia, Spain

a7 Department of Microbiology, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Valencia, Spain

a8 University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

a9 Department of Paediatrics, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain

SUMMARY

This study describes the results of the health programme implemented in the Valencian Community (Spain) to achieve an early diagnosis of Chagas disease in pregnant Latin American women and their newborns. During 2009 and 2010, 1975 women living in the health districts of three university hospitals were enrolled via midwives or at the time of delivery. Diagnosis of disease was performed using two serological tests with different antigens. Congenital infection was diagnosed by parasitological, molecular or serological methods from blood samples obtained at birth or in subsequent controls. The overall seroprevalence of Chagas infection in pregnant women from 16 different endemic countries was 11·4%. Infection was higher in those from countries in the Gran Chaco Region (Bolivia, 34·1%; Paraguay, 7·4%; Argentina, 5·3%). Eight newborn infants from Bolivian mothers had congenital Chagas which represents a vertical transmission rate of 3·7%. In conclusion, this work supports the benefits of offering an early diagnosis to pregnant women and newborns during routine prenatal healthcare.

(Accepted November 03 2011)

(Online publication December 01 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr C. Barona-Vilar, Perinatal Health Unit, General Directorate of Public Health, Conselleria de Sanitat, Avda Cataluña, 21, 46020 València (Spain), Fn. 34-96-192 57 39. (Email: barona_car@gva.es)

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