Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease of the Americas. In nature, Trypanosoma cruzi is transmitted through various species of triatomine bugs. However, non-vectorial transmission can also occur, such as transmission through blood products or by transplanting infected organs, by vertical transmission, and lately by oral route. Currently, Chagas disease affects approximately 6–7 million people worldwide, and the process of urbanization in Latin America and migratory movements from endemic countries have led to Chagas disease being diagnosed in areas where the infection is not endemic. There are several methods for diagnosing Chagas disease. Some of these are mostly used for research purposes, while others are used in routine diagnostic laboratories. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic Chagas disease diagnosis is based on two serological techniques. To establish a definitive diagnosis, the results must be concordant. In the case of discordances, the WHO proposes repeating serology in a new sample, and if results remain inconclusive, a confirmatory test should be performed. This chapter shows aspects of the diagnosis of Chagas disease, which varies in its sensitivity and specificity, and its use depends on the geographical location, the available resources, and the purpose of the diagnosis.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Neglected Tropical Diseases