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Revista Española de Salud Pública

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ORTI LUCAS, Rafael Manuel  and  PARADA BARBA, María Cristina. Prevalence of American tripanosomiasis in pregnant women from a health area of Valencia, Spain: 2005-2007. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.83, n.4, pp.543-555. ISSN 1135-5727.

Background: The Chagas disease, an endemic illness in Latin America, is an emerging pathology due mainly to the increment of human migration. Prevalence increase, difficult diagnosis and therapeutic management turn Chagas into an important public health problem. Our objectives are first to analyse the seroprevalence and epidemiologic profile of Latin American pregnant women who were taken charge of in the area of Hospital Clinical University of Valencia (HCUV), and second, to determine the risk of vertical transmission from infected women to their children. Method: 400 Latin American pregnant women were analysed. They were assisted in HCUV from February 2005 to July 2007. The screening technique used was Immunoprecipitation ID-PaGIA_DiaMed, confirmed through Indirect Immunofluorescence (Immunofluor Chagas-Inverness Medical). For newborns whose mothers were seropositive, a microhematocrit and PCR was performed at birth, later IgG detection was performed at 6 and 12 months. Results: 9.3% of pregnant women developed specific antibodies to the parasite. Trypanosomiasis illness in antecedents, living in rural areas and gastrointestinal symptomatology were the most outstanding risk markers among the epidemiological, sociodemographic and clinical variables analysed, especially when women were Bolivians. There was a case of seroconversion in an 8 months child with an incidence of 0.25%. Conclusions: The high proportion of pregnant Latin American women with latent Chagas disease, the epidemiological history and the risk of vertical transmission made advisable to include the detection of parasite antibodies in the health screenings of this group.

Keywords : Public health; Chagas disease; Vertical Pathogen Transmission; Latin America; Trypanosomiasis; Zoonoses.

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