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Chagas Disease: Seroprevalence and Associated Factors in Indigenous Communities of the Southern Limit of Argentine Chaco

Trop Med Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 14;8(1):64. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed8010064.


Chagas disease is more prevalent in socially vulnerable communities in the Gran Chaco Eco-region. The study evaluated the seroprevalence of Chagas disease and associated factors between May 2014 and September 2015, in indigenous communities of Santa Fe, Argentina, in the southern Chaco. Lysate ELISA and indirect hemagglutination tests were used to detect antibodies against Trypanosoma cruzi, and recombinant ELISA was used in the case of disagreement. Household surveys were conducted with the head of household about risk factors for the disease. Serological tests were conducted on 298 people from three indigenous communities, 127 male and 171 female. Seroprevalence was 18.5%. A total of 64 surveys were conducted; 82.8% of the heads of household were male, with a median age of 39 years, and 61.0% had not completed primary school. In 35.9% of the households, there was at least one member of the cohabiting group infected with T. cruzi. The level of education of the head of household showed a statistically significant association with Chagas disease (OR = 3.43), among all the risk factors studied. The prevalence of infection is lower than that of other indigenous communities of the Gran Chaco, probably because environmental conditions are moderating and disfavoring the establishment of the insect vector in homes, but also because of socioeconomic differences with the rest of the eco-region. Beyond this, serological controls are needed to prevent vertical transmission.

PMID:36668971 | DOI:10.3390/tropicalmed8010064

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