An Outbreak of Acute Chagas Disease Possibly Spread through Oral Transmission Involving Animal Reservoirs in Eastern Colombia

Stivenn A. Gutiérrez, Jeiczon Jaimes-Dueñez, Lissa Cruz-Saavedra, Carolina Hernández, Omar Cantillo-Barraza, Francisco Álvarez, María Blanco, Bernardo Leal, Lida Martínez, Manuel Medina, Mabel Medina, Silvia Valdivieso, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chagas disease (CD) is a parasitic infection caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Reports of CD cases associated with oral transmission have increased, particularly in Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela. In this investigation, parasitological, serological, and molecular tests were conducted on samples obtained from humans, mammal reservoirs, and hosts involved in the assessment of a suspected oral transmission outbreak in Cubara, Boyaca, Colombia. Seropositivity was observed in 60% (3 of 5) of index patients and 6.4% (5 of 78) of close contacts. Trypanosoma cruzi DNA was detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 100% of index cases, 6.4% (5 of 78) of close contacts, 60% (6 of 10) of canines, and 100% (5 of 5) of opossums. In all index cases, the TcI lineage was identified, along with two cases of mixed infection (TcI/TcII-TcVI). Hemoculture revealed a flagellate presence in 80% of opossums, whereas all triatomine bugs tested negative. Our findings suggest a potential oral transmission route through contamination with opossum secretions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 3 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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