Efficacy of benznidazol treatment for asymptomatic chagasic patients from state of Rio Grande do Sul evaluated during a three years follow-up

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2009 Feb;104(1):27-32. doi: 10.1590/s0074-02762009000100004.


The efficacy of benznidazol on the treatment of chagasic patients from the state of Rio Grande do Sul was evaluated during a three-year follow-up. A cohort of 80 asymptomatic chronic chagasic patients or blood bank donors (49 male and 31 female) was studied. Their ages varied from 17-42 years, with a mean and a median of 30 and 35 years, respectively. The 80 patients presented positive serology, hemoculture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). They were treated with 5 mg/Kg benznidazol twice a day for 60 days. Serological, parasitological and PCR methods were used to evaluate response. Serology was performed using commercial ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence (IFI) tests, parasitemia was monitored by hemoculture in LIT medium and PCR with primers S35/S36 was used to amplify a Trypanosoma cruzi 330 bp kDNA repetitive sequence. PCR positivity of 240 seropositive individuals was compared using DNA preparations from whole blood/guanidine EDTA (GE), buffy-coat/GE and frozen buffy-coat. Fifty non-chagasic individuals were used as negative controls. PCR positivity was 86.7% for the frozen buffy-coat, 71.7% for the GE/buffy-coat and 69.2% for the GE/whole blood. The hemocultures became negative just after treatment and remained negative during the three years of follow-up. In the third year after treatment, 9/80 (11.3%) patients presented negative PCR and, from those, four also presented negative serological tests. Furthermore, a reduction in three serological titers was observed in 27/80 (33.8%) of the patients treated. Taken together, the results show that four of the 80 (5.0%) chronic chagasic patients from the state of Rio Grande do Sul were cured after treatment with benznidazol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chagas Disease / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA, Kinetoplast / blood
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitroimidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Parasitemia / drug therapy
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trypanocidal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / drug effects
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Kinetoplast
  • Nitroimidazoles
  • Trypanocidal Agents
  • benzonidazole