Project: Congenital Chagas disease

Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is a devastating, but neglected, health problem in Latin America and, due to the extensive global migration of asymptomatic people, has become an emerging disease in nonendemic countries. According to WHO, development of new diagnostics is one of the top priorities for Chagas disease research. The congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi , which may occur in 5% of newborns to seropositive mothers is one of the major routes of spreading Chagas disease worldwide. Since 65% of patients with congenital Chagas are asymptomatics, prevention and control would require screening of children and women of childbearing age and their treatment. However, early detection of congenital infection is not adequate because current methods lack sensitivity and a high proportion of newborns abandon maternity services without diagnosis and thus they must be followed up for final diagnosis when congenital infection can be detected by serological assays only after nine months of age. In most endemic regions, due to economic and social constrains, a high proportion of infants are lost during follow up remaining undiagnosed and thus untreated. Treatment closer to delivery is almost 100% effective and with fewer toxic side effects. In this context, studies to improve early diagnosis are a priority in public health. Furthermore, it is necessary to deepen insight on the mechanisms of vertical transmission to enable define risk factors. Accordingly, this project proposes to characterise parasitic, placental and immunological factors in clinical samples from binomials of seropositive women and their newborns to find out atrisk factors of transmission and validate novel laboratory tools for early diagnosis of congenital infection.

Acronym Congenital Chagas disease (Reference Number: ELAC2014/HID-0328)
Duration 01/01/2015 - 01/01/2018
Project Topic Prevention infectious diseases & wellbeing
Project Results
(after finalisation)
not yet available
Network ERANet-LAC
Call ERANet-LAC 1st Joint Call on Research and Innovation between the EU Member States and Associated Countries and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular Dr Héctor Torres Coordinator Argentina
2 Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas Partner Chile
3 Universidad de Granada Partner Spain
4 Laboratoire de Parasitologie Partner Belgium