[Q] Chagas Transmission

William Reeder "wmr-60 at ix.netcom.com" at popd.ix.netcom.com
Thu Feb 19 08:59:42 EST 1998


a rose wrote:
> 
> Greetings,
> 
> I was asked whether Chagas disease (American Trypanosomiasis) can also
> be transmitted through sexual intercourse. The only source I remember
> that says so is a picture book about parasite life cycles, but I don't
> really trust that book all that much, and no real sources are given. So
> far, I only know for sure that the disease is transmitted through bugs,
> blood transfusuions and also from mother to child during birth. (The
> latter might indicate a possiblitity for sexual transmission.) Does
> anybody know a source I can trust (preferably research papers)? Also, I
> heard the disaese may be transmited from mother to child through
> breastfeeding. Is that true as well?
> 
> Thanks for any input,
> 
> Andreas
> 
> --
> Andreas M. Rose, Dipl. Biol. - "Hostfinding in the bloodsucking bug
> Triatoma infestans, a vector of Chagas disease."
> Zoologie * Universitaet Regensburg * D-93040 Regensburg * Germany * EU
> phone: +49-941-943-3077 (or -3060) * fax: +49-941-943-3052 * PGP
> http://www.biologie.uni-regensburg.de/Zoologie/Boeckh/Rose/index.htm

There have been two published cases of Chagas disease in which breast 
milk was the suspected route of infection.  The first case occurred in 
1936 in Salta, Argentina and the second in 1983 in Bahia, Brazil.  
Following the second case a couple of studies were carried out to try and 
determine if milk could transmit the infection.  In one of the studies 
100 milk or colostrum samples from 78 nuring mothers with acute Chagas 
disease were examined, all were negative.  The second study involved 
serological testing of children known to have been born to women with 
acute Chagas disease and known to be born free of congenital infection.  
97 children all breast fed during the acute phase of the infection and 
remained serologically negative.  The WHO does not recommend that women 
with Chagas disease restrict breast feeding.
references:
Mazza, S et al.  Transmision del Schizotrypanum cruzi al nino por leche 
de la madre con enfermedad de Chagas.  Investigaciones sobre la 
enfermedad de Chagas. 1936. 28:41-46
Bittencourt A.L. et al.  Evaluation of Chagas disease transmission 
through breast feeding. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 1988. 
83:37-39
WHO Technical Report 811: Control of Chagas Disease. 1991. WHO, Geneva



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