PAGES: 569-571 DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170009 Short communication
Description of an oral Chagas disease outbreak in Venezuela, including a vertically transmitted case

Belkisyolé Alarcón de Noya1+, Gladymar Pérez-Chacón2, Zoraida Díaz-Bello1, Sonia Dickson3, Arturo Muñoz-Calderón1, Carlos Hernández4, Yadira Pérez5, Luciano Mauriello1, Eyleen Moronta1

1Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Medicina Tropical, Sección de Inmunología, Caracas, Venezuela
2Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Medicina, Escuela de Medicina José María Vargas, Parasitología, Caracas, Venezuela
3Hospital de Clínicas Caracas, Departamento de Anatomía Patológica, Caracas, Venezuela
4Hospital de Clínicas Caracas, Departamento de Obstetricia y Ginecología, Caracas, Venezuela
5Clínica Sanitas Santa Paula, Caracas, Venezuela


We describe the eleventh major outbreak of foodborne Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in urban Venezuela, including evidence for vertical transmission from the index case to her fetus. After confirming fetal death at 24 weeks of gestation, pregnancy interruption was performed. On direct examination of the amniotic fluid, trypomastigotes were detected. T. cruzi specific-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) also proved positive when examining autopsied fetal organs. Finally, microscopic fetal heart examination revealed amastigote nests. Acute orally transmitted Chagas disease can be life threatening or even fatal for pregnant women and unborn fetuses owing to vertical transmission. There is therefore an urgent need to improve national epidemiologic control measures.

+ Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Received 11 January 2017
Accepted 24 March 2017


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