ELISA seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in a cohort of heart disease patients
Keywords:Chagas disease, heart disease, prevalence, seropositivity, serology
Introduction: Chagas disease is the most important parasitic disease in El Salvador and Latin America. The disease has two phases: acute and chronic, with an intermediate unspecified phase. The chronic phase develops in 30% of infected persons and its most common manifestation is cardiac disease. This study aimed to obtain reference data for the prevalence of T. cruzi seropositivity in a cohort of cardiac patients.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study involving consecutive heart disease patients consulting at the National Hospital Rosales was conducted over a six-month period. Congenital heart disease patients were excluded. A survey, file review, and ELISA serological test were conducted for each subject.
Results: Out of 455 subjects, 76 were seropositive for T. cruzi, giving a seropositivity prevalence of 16.7%. The average age of the patients was 58.09 years and the female:male ratio was 2.79:1.
No significant difference was found between T. cruzi seropositive and seronegative patients in terms of age and gender. No association between T. cruzi serological status and either area of residence or seeing vectors in the house was found. However, living in the Salvadoran western region during childhood was significantly associated with seropositivity (p = 0.003). Other factors associated with T. cruzi seropositivity included: clinical diagnosis of cardiac Chagas disease; electrocardiographic (ECG) findings of a permanent pacemaker, all atrioventricular (AV) blocks and right bundle branch block; and grade III-IV radiological cardiomegaly.
Conclusions: T. cruzi seropositivity prevalence was found to be 16.7% among heart disease patients in a public reference hospital.
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