Molecular testing for Trypanosoma is used for the rapid and accurate laboratory diagnosis of Chagas disease.
American Trypanosomiasis Also known as Chagas disease, it is endemic in Latin America and is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Symptoms may include changes in the central nervous system (CNS) and meningoencephalitis in children. The course of the disease can last from months to years and is often fatal. The parasite is usually transmitted through the bite of particular insects, but also by blood transfusions, organ transplants, and possibly by the consumption of contaminated food.
Chagas disease progresses through two main phases: the acute phase and the chronic phase. In the acute phase, which occurs shortly after infection, individuals may experience symptoms such as fever, swelling at the site of the bug bite, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. However, symptoms can be mild or even absent in some cases, leading to delayed diagnosis. If left untreated, the infection transitions to the chronic phase, which can last for years to decades. During this phase, the parasite can cause damage to various organs, particularly the heart (resulting in Chagas cardiomyopathy) and the digestive system (leading to megaesophagus and megacolon). These chronic complications can be life-threatening and significantly impact an individual's quality of life.
Chagas disease remains a significant public health concern, especially in regions with limited access to healthcare and resources. Efforts to control the disease include vector control programs to reduce the population of triatomine bugs, improved blood screening to prevent transmission through transfusions and research into better diagnostic tools, treatments, and potential vaccines.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.