Evaluation of Trypanosoma cruzi parasitic load by real-time PCR and blood culture in long-term kidney transplant recipients
Keywords:Chagas disease, Kidney Transplant, real-time PCR, RT-PCR
Introduction: Acute Chagas disease involving reactivation can occur after organ transplant, and follow-up by direct parasitological or molecular methods is essential for monitoring the parasitic load in such patients. In contrast, there is a little data on the parasitic load in long-term organ recipients. In this study, we examined the parasitic load in long-term kidney transplant patients and assessed the possibility of late Chagas disease reactivation.
Methodology: Blood cultures and real-time PCR were used to assess the parasitic load in four immunosuppressed patients who underwent kidney transplants (between 1996 and 2014) and were also treated for parasites.
Results: There were no positive blood culture or real-time PCR results in Chagas disease patients who received kidney transplants. The real-time PCR presented detection limit of 0.1 parasite equivalent/mL. The time interval between the transplant and sample collection varied from one to 19 years.
Conclusions: No parasites were detected in the evaluated patients. The use of benznidazole and immunosuppressive therapy may have contributed to control the T. cruzi infection. In transplanted patients with Chagas disease, the use of methods such real-time PCR and blood culture can monitor the parasitic load and prevent disease reactivation.
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