[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) influences the development of myocardiopathy in Chagas disease through regulation of (i) parasite invasion of heart cells, (ii) an intracellular parasite cycle, (iii) inflammation and immune response, (iv) heart fibrosis and remodeling, and (v) gap junction modulation and heart conduction. In this review, we discuss the rationale for developing TGF-β signaling-interfering therapies as adjuvant approaches for the management of the cardiac alterations of Chagas disease-affected patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human alpha2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M) is a 720 kDa glycoprotein that presents two ultrastructural conformations: slow (S-alpha 2M) and fast (F-alpha 2M). alpha 2M acts mainly as a proteinase scavenger, but an immunomodulatory role was also proposed. This work studies the effect of desialylation and deglycosylation on the structure patterns of alpha 2M by ultrastructural analysis of lectin-induced aggregates, which represents a new approach that had never been previously used. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis showed the loss of S-alpha 2M conformation after deglycosylation, indicating that glycosidic side-chains contribute to the molecular stability of S-alpha 2M. TEM proved to be an important tool to analyze the effect of biochemical changes on alpha 2M, yielding an objective qualitative control of its morphological state. Certain carbohydrate residues did not vary between the alpha 2M conformations, since both bound similarly ConA and WGA lectins. However, the binding of PNA and BSI-B(4) was slightly lower in F-alpha 2M than in S-alpha 2M. Among the neuraminidases used to desialylate both conformations of alpha 2M that from Arthrobacter ureafaciens was the most effective. Incubation with the lectins ConA or SNA, respectively specific for mannosyl and sialyl residues, led to dose-dependent patterns of aggregation of alpha 2M molecules, mediated by lectin binding and clearly visualized by TEM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chagas disease induced by Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) infection is an important cause of mortality and morbidity affecting the cardiovascular system for which presently available therapies are insufficient and largely inadequate. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a therapeutic preparation containing normal polyspecific IgG obtained from plasma pools of several thousand healthy donors and is used in several autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases. In the study of heart from mice chronically infected with Tc, we observed that IVIg restores type 1 atrioventricular block or bradycardia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of IVIg in acute Tc infection. Intravenous immunoglobulin administration after the first week of infection was associated with an increase in survival time. Taken together, results observed in the chronic and in the acute phase associate IVIg treatment with a favourable outcome in T. cruzi infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we analysed the use of Vb-TCR regions by CD4? and CD8? T cells from acute and chronic chagasic patients using ¯ow cytometry. We determined the Vb expression in cells freshly isolated from patients, as well as after in vitro stimulation with antigens derived from epimastigote (EPI) or trypomastigote (TRYPO) forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Analysis of Vb-TCR expression of T cells freshly isolated from patients showed a decrease in Vb5 expression in the CD4? T-cell population from acutely infected individuals, whereas CD4?Vb5? T cells were found to be increased in chronic patients with the cardiac, but not indeterminate, clinical form. After culturing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from chronic patients with EPI or TRYPO, we found that both antigenic preparations led to a preferential expansion of CD4?Vb5? T cells. EPI stimulation also led to the expansion of CD8?Vb5? T cells, whereas TRYPO led to the expansion of this cell population only if PBMC were from cardiac and not indeterminate patients. We observed that TRYPO stimulation led to an increase in the frequency of CD4?Vb17? T cells in cultures of PBMC from indeterminate patients, whereas an increase in the frequency of CD8?Vb17? T cells was found upon TRYPO stimulation of PBMC from cardiac patients. Despite this increase in the frequency of Vb17? T-cell populations upon TRYPO stimulation, the same antigenic preparation led to a much higher expansion of Vb5? T cells. These results show a differential expression of Vb5-TCR in cells freshly isolated from chagasic patients in different stages of the disease and that parasite-speci®c antigens stimulate a portion of the T-cell repertoire with preferential usage of Vb5-TCR.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A2M is a broad spectrum proteinase inhibitor and cytokine carrier, besides presenting anti-apoptotic activity through the binding to its receptor, LRP. During Trypanosoma cruzi infection, apoptosis of host cells and intracellular parasites is commonly observed both in vivo and in vitro. Since plasma as well as tissue A2M levels are increased in both murine and human acute T. cruzi infection, we evaluated the possible role of A2M (its methylamine transformed Fast form-A2M-F) in regulating apoptotic events in peritoneal macrophages and cardiomyocytes during in vitro interaction with the parasite. Our data showed that DNA fragmentation (a hallmark of apoptosis) of both host cells and parasites was inhibited by A2M-F. Impaired apoptosis was also noted when A2M-F was added to the cultures maintained under serum deprivation. In addition, macrophages from C57/BL6 mice, known to display higher LRP levels as compared to those of C3H lineage, displayed higher reduction in the apoptotic levels during the A2M-F treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two aromatic diamidines, furamidine (DB75) and its phenyl-substituted analogue (DB569), which exhibit trypanocidal activity, were assayed against Trypanosoma cruzi and were found to induce apoptosis-like death characteristics such as nuclear DNA condensation and fragmentation, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and phosphatidylserine exposure. DB569 displays superior trypanocidal activity compared to furamidine and also had higher ability to induce apoptosis-like death in treated parasites. The present results showing apoptosis-like death in T. cruzi after treatment with both DB75 and DB569 make important contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of the aromatic diamidines, which represent promising trypanocidal compounds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Furamidine (DB75) and related unfused aromatic diamidines have proven useful for the treatment of parasitic infections. These compounds were primarily developed to combat infections by Pneumocystis carinii and African trypanosomes but they are also active against other parasites. Here we have investigated the in vitro effects of DB75 and its phenyl-substituted analog DB569 on two kinetoplastid haemoflagellates Trypanosomatidae: Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania (L) amazonensis. The phenyl-amidine compound DB569 has equivalent DNA binding properties compared to DB75 but it was selected on the basis of its distinct tumor cell distribution properties. We found that DB569 is significantly more potent than DB75 at reducing the proliferation of the parasites, using either isolated parasites in cultures or with cardiomyocyte and macrophage host cells. DB569 is effective towards the intracellular forms of T. cruzi (IC(50) in the low-micromolar range) and it exhibits trypanocidal dose-dependent effects against trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi parasites obtained from the Y strain and Dm28c clone, which belong to two different biodemes. Fluorescence microscopy experiments indicated that both diamidines were mostly localized in the nucleus of the mammalian host cells and within the nuclei and kinetoplast of the parasites. Electron microscopy studies showed that the treatment of the parasites with DB75 and DB569 induces important alterations of the parasite nucleus and kinetoplast, at sites where their DNA target is localized. Altogether, the data suggest that the phenyl-substituted furamidine analogue DB569 is a potential new candidate for the treatment of the Chagas' disease and Leishmaniasis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We performed a cross-sectional flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to evaluate human immunologic status during early stages of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in children. We identified major immunological features corresponding to three proposed phases of disease: early acute (EA) phase, late acute (LA) phase and recent chronic (RC) phase. EA phase was accompanied by expansion of conventional B cells, up-regulation of CD54 on monocytes and down-regulation of CD54 on T cells and not associated with monocyte-activation phenotypes or changes of natural killer (NK) population. LA phase was characterized by a selective increase in a distinct lineage of NK cells (CD16+CD56-), as well as a persistent expansion of B cells and down-regulation of CD54 on T cells. RC phase showed persistent low levels of CD54 molecule on T cells and an increase of B cells, mainly triggered by expansion of the B1-cell subset, as well as increased expression of human leucocyte antigen (HLA-DR) by monocytes. These findings reinforce the hypothesis that T. cruzi-derived antigens are able to activate NK cells before the development of T-cell-mediated immunity. Moreover, our data support previous findings of increased levels of B1 lymphocytes during human Chagas' disease and show that this event is already present during initial stages of chronic infection.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 01/2004; 58(6):655-63. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the acute phase of Trypanosoma cruzi infection there is a prominent thymus atrophy, which is determined by massive loss of immature CD4/CD8 double positive cells. Recently, the involvement of a parasite transialidase, which is shed from the parasite cell membrane and the activation of P2X(7), a purinergic receptor, were stated as important pathways leading to thymus atrophy. In this work we evaluated the possible involvement of Fas- and perforin-based cytotoxic pathways in the thymus atrophy induced by T. cruzi infection using gld/gld and perforin (-/-) mice. We found similar kinetics of thymus atrophy in mice competent or deficient in both cytotoxic pathways, indicating that both molecules are not directly involved in the thymus atrophy, either inducing cellular death or as co-stimulatory molecules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanism of cell death which occurs during Chagas' cardiopathy is disputed. To address this issue we analyzed the molecular pathways implicated in the death of cardiomyocytes during T. cruzi invasion and found that they undergo apoptosis during both in vitro and in vivo infections. However, the death rates and onset were related to the parasite stocks belonging to different biodemes, which can be correlated to the different histological inflammation findings that have already been reported. Our in vitro data provide additional support for this hypothesis since higher levels and earlier apoptosis induction were noted during the interaction with the Dm28c (type I) as compared to the Y and CL stocks (type II). Modifications of the surface carbohydrates of the infected cardiomyocytes were observed and these molecular events may be acting as "eat me" tags for their final engulfment by macrophages and/or other non-professional phagocytes. The analysis of other host cell types showed that the in vitro infection of fibroblasts did not result in host apoptosis even when a highly infective stock was used. Conversely, infected macrophages undergo apoptosis but at a higher degree than cardiomyocytes. Apoptotic intracellular parasites were observed to varied extents depending on the T. cruzi stock, which was related to the parasite invasion and proliferation. In summary, our results show that during T. cruzi infection, the extent of apoptosis varies according to the host cell type and the parasite stocks. The apoptosis of both host and T. cruzi can contribute to the silent spreading and persistence of the parasite without triggering an exacerbated inflammatory response.
Cell and Tissue Research 12/2003; 314(2):223-35. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi proteinases are involved in host cell invasion in human patients and in mouse models. In mice, murine alpha(2)-macroglobulin (MAM) and murinoglobulin are circulating plasma proteinase inhibitors that also have important roles in inflammation and immune modulation. To define their role in experimental Chagas disease, we investigated the susceptibility to T. cruzi infection of mice that are deficient only in alpha2-macroglobulins (AM-KO) or in both MAM and monomeric murinoglobulin-1 (MM-KO), relative to the wild type (WT). Despite the high parasite load, parasitemia was lower in AM-KO and MM-KO mice than in WT mice. Nevertheless, we observed a significantly higher parasite load in the hearts of AM-KO and MM-KO mice, i.e., more amastigote nests and inflammatory infiltrates than in WT mice. This result demonstrates a protective role for MAM in the acute phase of murine T. cruzi infection. We further demonstrated in vitro that human alpha2-macroglobulins altered the trypomastigote morphology and motility in a dose-dependent way, and that also impaired T. cruzi invasion in cardiomyocytes. Finally, we demonstrated that the levels of transforming growth factor beta in AM-KO mice increased significantly in the third week postinfection, concomitant with high amastigote burden and important fibrosis. Combined, these in vivo and in vitro findings demonstrate that the MAM contribute to the resistance of mice to acute myocarditis induced by experimental T. cruzi infection.
Infection and Immunity 10/2002; 70(9):5115-23. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi proteinases are involved in host cell invasion in human patients and in mouse models. In mice, murine 2-macroglobulin (MAM) and murinoglobulin are circulating plasma proteinase inhibitors that also have important roles in inflammation and immune modulation. To define their role in experimental Chagas disease, we investigated the susceptibility to T. cruzi infection of mice that are deficient only in 2-macroglobulins (AM-KO) or in both MAM and monomeric murinoglobulin-1 (MM-KO), relative to the wild type (WT). Despite the high parasite load, parasitemia was lower in AM-KO and MM-KO mice than in WT mice. Nevertheless, we observed a significantly higher parasite load in the hearts of AM-KO and MM-KO mice, i.e., more amastigote nests and inflammatory infiltrates than in WT mice. This result demonstrates a protective role for MAM in the acute phase of murine T. cruzi infection. We further demonstrated in vitro that human 2-macroglobulins altered the trypomastigote morphology and motility in a dose-dependent way, and that also impaired T. cruzi invasion in cardiomyocytes. Finally, we demonstrated that the levels of transforming growth factor in AM-KO mice increased significantly in the third week postinfection, concomitant with high amastigote burden and important fibrosis. Combined, these in vivo and in vitro findings demonstrate that the MAM contribute to the resistance of mice to acute myocarditis induced by experimental T. cruzi infection. -Macroglobulins (AM) are physiological proteinase inhib- itors with important roles in inflammation and immune mod- ulation, with some isoforms behaving as acute-phase proteins in some animals (14, 34). In mice, two main AM are present as plasma proteins, the tetrameric murine 2-macroglobulin (MAM) equivalent to human 2-macroglobulin (A2M) and the monomeric murinoglobulin-1 (MUG) (24, 35). The ability of AM to bind to a wide range of proteinases as well as of several physiologically important molecules, including cytokines and mitogens (13), would enable AM to contribute to the ho- meostasis of proteolytic activities (14) and to increase the half- life of cytokines (13) and other proteinase-sensitive molecules. Proteolytic cleavage of the bait region in AM breaks the cys- teinyl-glutamyl internal thiolesters, leading to a major confor- mational change in the native molecule (N-A2M) to the trans- formed or fast form (F-A2M) in which the proteinase is trapped and hindered in its access to substrates (34). F-A2M exposes a cryptic receptor-binding domain that binds specifi- cally to the multifunctional A2M receptor to clear the AM- proteinase complexes from the circulation (34). The major A2M receptor is identical to the low-density lipoprotein recep- tor-related protein (LRP) that is responsible for the clearance
Infection and Immunity - INFEC IMMUNITY. 01/2002; 70(9):5115-5123.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of 17beta-estradiol on mice resistant to infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. Infected Balb/C, C3H and C57BL/6 female mice had a longer survival time than males, C57BL/6 showing the highest difference (50% cumulative mortality in females versus 100% in males). This lineage was treated with estradiol (from 0.05 microg to 500 microg/mouse) 1 day before infection. Treatment with 50 microg or 500 microg estradiol/ mouse increased mortality and parasitaemia. Low doses had no effect or tended to reduce both parameters. Given that estradiol presented no in vitro effect on trypomastigotes or epimastigotes, the involvement of a direct hormonal effect on the parasite is improbable. Alterations in the humoral T. cruzi-specific response were also discarded, since the kinetics and concentration of anti-T. cruzi IgG were not affected by the treatment. Females infected during an estradiol-descending phase (meta-oestrus) survived longer than those infected during other phases of the oestrous cycle. We confirmed that estradiol interferes with T. cruzi infection.
Parasitology Research 08/2001; 87(7):513-20. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of mouse A2M (MAM), murinoglobulin (MUG), the A2M receptor or LDL-Receptor related protein (A2MR/LRP) and the Receptor Associated Protein (RAP) were measured by northern blotting of mRNA isolated from liver, heart and peritoneal macrophages from C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6J (B6) mice. Marked differences between males of the two mouse strains were observed for MAM and MUG mRNA levels in liver, which were reflected in plasma levels of both proteinase inhibitors, as confirmed by immune-electrophoresis. C3H/HeJ mice had higher levels of the MAM and MUG mRNA and their corresponding plasma proteins than B6 mice. B6 mice expressed higher levels of LRP mRNA relative to C3H/HeJ mice but had lower levels of RAP mRNA. LRP receptor activity, assayed by fluoresceinated-A2M binding, was higher in B6 cells. The present data contribute to the knowledge of genetic background characteristics among male mouse of these two strains, which can take part in many biological events such as lipid metabolism, inflammation and immune response to different infectious agents.
Cell Structure and Function 07/2001; 26(3):161-7. · 1.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present paper we performed a morphological characterization of mouse peritoneal cells stimulated in vivo for 24 h with carrageenan (CAR) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by ultrastructural and flow cytometry analysis. In all samples, the flow cytometry studies showed the presence of three major populations consisting of monocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes. A special recruitment of monocytes was detected in CAR-injected mice. Macrophages and monocytes from CAR-treated mice displayed a characteristic phenotype, with a larger number of cytoplasmic vacuoles and numerous membrane projections, as compared to the cells collected from LPS- and PBS-injected mice. The induction of vacuolization was also confirmed upon in vitro treatment with CAR for 15 min to 24 h. The in vivo CAR-induced vacuoles were not related to lipid storage as judged by the lack of lipidic labeling after imidazole treatment at the ultrastructural level. In order to investigate the acidic nature of the vacuoles we used acidothropic probes, Lysotracker Yellow (LY) and Acridine Orange (AO). CAR injection activated the ability of peritoneal cells to incorporate LY around 2-5 times higher than control cells. However, the AO incorporation was 10-fold lower in CAR-stimulated cells than in LPS-stimulated ones. It is possible that the increase in intracellular vacuolization observed in CAR-stimulated cells could be related to exocytosis, since in most vacuoles the inflammatory protein MRP-14 was immunolocalized. The presence of MRP-14 in the culture supernatant of adherent peritoneal cells from CAR-injected mice was further comfirmed by ELISA, suggesting the discharge of MRP-14 enriched vacuole contents in the extracellular medium. We concluded that the morphological characteristics of activated monocytes and macrophages may depend on the nature of the triggering stimuli. Our observations reflect different functional phenotypes of monocytes/macrophages after in vivo stimulation with inflammatory agents such as CAR and LPS.
Cell Structure and Function 01/2001; 25(6):337-50. · 1.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Creatine kinase (CK total and CK-MB) were studied as markers of lesion progression induced by Trypanosoma cruzi infection. After 3 weeks mice infected with 10(4) parasites showed an increase in both enzyme levels and in their frequency distribution. A trend to increase was already detected in the 2nd week. A short duration per os treatment with benznidazole (Bz) prevented the occurrence of tissue lesions, since no changes were observed in enzymes. However, in the 4th week, about 40% of Bz-treated mice showed an increase in CK-MB, as did those that survived until the 8th week. Long-term treatment with Bz in drinking water of mice infected with 10(2) parasites showed, after 32 weeks, a partial reversion of the occurrence of high CK-MB levels from 85.7% to 50%. We found a positive correlation between inflammatory infiltrates and CK-MB levels, indicating that this marker could be useful to monitor the occurrence of experimental chagasic myocarditis.
Parasitology Research 11/2000; 86(10):800-8. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rapid, sensitive, specific, and reliable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is proposed for determination of the levels of anti-Trypanosoma cruzi IgM in acute chagasic sera (ACD). The efficiency of this ELISA as a diagnostic method was compared with that of parasite DNA detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and that of indirect immunofluorescence (iIF) anti-T. cruzi IgM detection. We tested whether this ELISA using fixed epimastigotes (epi) could detect anti-T. cruzi IgM in serum samples from two groups of children with acute Chagas' disease from a hyperendemic area in Bolivia. In a comparison of the ELISA method with other techniques, 95% and 71% of the results correlated with PCR and iIF findings, respectively. At the serum dilution applied (1:250), rheumatoid factor (RF) did not influence the results, and samples from patients carrying leishmaniasis or mixed Leishmania and T. cruzi infection could also be excluded from ACD. Highly specific and reliable results were obtained, a great number of the sera could be tested in only one assay, and a quantitative index of reactivity (IR) could be calculated without serial titration. Using test samples in triplicate, the method provides a useful tool for the detection of early acute-phase T. cruzi infection in humans.
Parasitology Research 11/2000; 86(10):813-20. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we analysed the use of Vbeta-TCR regions by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from acute and chronic chagasic patients using flow cytometry. We determined the Vbeta expression in cells freshly isolated from patients, as well as after in vitro stimulation with antigens derived from epimastigote (EPI) or trypomastigote (TRYPO) forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Analysis of Vbeta-TCR expression of T cells freshly isolated from patients showed a decrease in Vbeta5 expression in the CD4+ T-cell population from acutely infected individuals, whereas CD4+Vbeta5+ T cells were found to be increased in chronic patients with the cardiac, but not indeterminate, clinical form. After culturing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from chronic patients with EPI or TRYPO, we found that both antigenic preparations led to a preferential expansion of CD4+Vbeta5+ T cells. EPI stimulation also led to the expansion of CD8+Vbeta5+ T cells, whereas TRYPO led to the expansion of this cell population only if PBMC were from cardiac and not indeterminate patients. We observed that TRYPO stimulation led to an increase in the frequency of CD4+Vbeta17+ T cells in cultures of PBMC from indeterminate patients, whereas an increase in the frequency of CD8+Vbeta17+ T cells was found upon TRYPO stimulation of PBMC from cardiac patients. Despite this increase in the frequency of Vbeta17+ T-cell populations upon TRYPO stimulation, the same antigenic preparation led to a much higher expansion of Vbeta5+ T cells. These results show a differential expression of Vbeta5-TCR in cells freshly isolated from chagasic patients in different stages of the disease and that parasite-specific antigens stimulate a portion of the T-cell repertoire with preferential usage of Vbeta5-TCR.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 06/2000; 51(5):511-9. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the celebration of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute centenary, we wanted to stress our concern with the relationship between two of its missions: research and education. What are the educational bases required for science and technology activities on health sciences for the future years? How can scientists collaborate to promote the popularization of academic knowledge and to improve a basic education for citizenship in an ethic and humanistic view? In this article we pointed out to need of commitment, even in the biomedical post-graduation level, of a more integrated philosophy that would be centered on health education, assuming health as a dynamic biological and social equilibrium and emphasizing the need of scientific popularization of science in a cooperative construction way, instead of direct transfer of knowledge, preserving also macro views of health problems in the development of very specific studies. The contemporary explosion of knowledge, particularly biological knowledge, imposes a need of continuous education to face the growing illiteracy. In order to face this challenge, we think that the Oswaldo Cruz Institute honors his dialectic profile of tradition and transformation, always creating new perspectives to disseminate scientific culture in innovator forms.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 02/2000; 95 Suppl 1:49-52. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acute phase of Chagas' disease was classified as early, intermediate, and late based on the levels of anti-Galalpha, 3Gal IgG (Gal) and specific IgM (M) and IgG (G) anti-T. cruzi reactivity. While the early phase was M+G-Gal-, the intermediate phase was M+G-Gal+, M+G+Gal-, or M+G+Gal+, and the late phase was M-G+Gal+. This sequence of stages was consistent with our previous studies on acute-phase proteins. Analysis by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of parasite DNA in 65 blood samples of children living in Cochabamba, Bolivia showed a significant correlation (90.8%) between ELISA and PCR positivity. A lower correlation was observed between indirect hemagglutination, PCR (58%), and ELISA. Electrocardiographic analysis of 43 children studied by the PCR did not show any alteration typical of acute chagasic myocarditis. The PCR positivity was observed in eight samples where only Gal was increased, suggesting a very early T. cruzi infection, when specific antibodies were not yet present. By associating anti-Gal IgG with specific serology, early T. cruzi infection can be detected with greater precision. We suggest the use of anti-Gal antibody reactivity as an aid for the detection of recent T. cruzi infections, at least in endemic areas where diseases caused by other trypanosomatids do not overlap.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 09/1999; 61(2):308-14. · 2.53 Impact Factor