How is Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Louis V Kirchhoff, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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The diagnosis of acute Chagas disease, which includes congenital Chagas disease and reactivation of chronic T cruzi infection in immunosuppressed persons, is based on direct detection of the parasites. In contrast, the diagnosis of chronic infection (indeterminate or chronic symptomatic phases) is generally based on serologic testing, since the low level of circulating parasites precludes microscopic detection and limits somewhat the sensitivity of PCR assays.

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