Use of a rapid test on umbilical cord blood to screen for Trypanosoma cruzi infection in pregnant women in Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, and Mexico

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Nov;79(5):755-9.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of Chagas disease in five endemic areas in Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, and México to estimate the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi-specific antibodies in pregnant women, and to assess the use of a rapid test (Chagas Stat-Pak) to screen for T. cruzi infection at the time of delivery. The prevalence of antibodies to T. cruzi measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in maternal blood was 5.5% (a range of 0.8-28.8% among the countries) in 2,495 women enrolled. Compared with ELISA in maternal blood samples, the Chagas Stat-Pak rapid test sensitivity and specificity in umbilical cord blood were 94.6% and 99.0%, respectively. These results show the ability for a rapid determination of the presence of T. cruzi-specific antibodies in umbilical cord blood as a pragmatic strategy to screen for infection in pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Bolivia / epidemiology
  • Chagas Disease / diagnosis*
  • Chagas Disease / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / parasitology*
  • Honduras / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / immunology


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic