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The United States Trypanosoma cruzi Infection Study: evidence for vector-borne transmission of the parasite that causes Chagas disease among United States blood donors
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
© 2012 American Association of Blood Banks
Volume 52, Issue 9, pages 1922–1930, September 2012
How to Cite
Cantey, P. T., Stramer, S. L., Townsend, R. L., Kamel, H., Ofafa, K., Todd, C. W., Currier, M., Hand, S., Varnado, W., Dotson, E., Hall, C., Jett, P. L. and Montgomery, S. P. (2012), The United States Trypanosoma cruzi Infection Study: evidence for vector-borne transmission of the parasite that causes Chagas disease among United States blood donors. Transfusion, 52: 1922–1930. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03581.x
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
- Received for publication October 10, 2011; revision received December 21, 2011, and accepted January 7, 2012.
BACKGROUND: Screening US blood donors for Trypanosoma cruzi infection is identifying autochthonous, chronic infections. Two donors in Mississippi were identified through screening and investigated as probable domestically acquired vector-borne infections, and the US T. cruzi Infection Study was conducted to evaluate the burden of and describe putative risk factors for vector-borne infection in the United States.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Blood donors who tested enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay repeat reactive and positive by radioimmunoprecipitation assay, and whose mode of infection could not be identified, were evaluated with a questionnaire to identify possible sources of infection and by additional serologic and hemoculture testing for T. cruzi infection.
RESULTS: Of 54 eligible donors, 37 (69%) enrolled in the study. Fifteen (41%) enrollees had four or more positive serologic tests and were considered positive for T. cruzi infection; one was hemoculture positive. Of the 15, three (20%) donors had visited a rural area of an endemic country, although none had stayed for 2 or more weeks. All had lived in a state with documented T. cruzi vector(s) or infected mammalian reservoir(s), 13 (87%) reported outdoor leisure or work activities, and 11 (73%) reported seeing wild reservoir animals on their property.
CONCLUSION: This report adds 16 cases, including one from the Mississippi investigation, of chronic T. cruzi infection presumably acquired via vector-borne transmission in the United States to the previously reported seven cases. The estimated prevalence of autochthonous infections based on this study is 1 in 354,000 donors. Determining US foci of vector-borne transmission is needed to better assess risk for infection.