How is Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) prevented?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Louis V Kirchhoff, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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No vaccination is available for T cruzi infection, and primary chemoprophylaxis in persons who plan to visit endemic regions is not recommended because of the extremely low risk of the infection in such circumstances (only 5 such cases have been reported [177, 178, 179] ).

It has been demonstrated in major portions of the endemic range that vector-borne transmission of T cruzi to humans can be achieved through improvement of housing conditions, use of residual insecticides, and education of persons at risk for acquiring the infection.

Transmission of T cruzi via transfusion of contaminated blood can be eliminated with serologic identification and permanent deferral of infected donors.

Although some risk factors for congenital transmission of T cruzi have been identified, [40, 180] no approaches for reducing this risk have been defined. The critical element in controlling congenital Chagas disease, beyond reducing the prevalence of chronic T cruzi infection in women of childbearing age, is the thorough parasitologic and serologic evaluation of babies born to mothers with T cruzi infection.

Personal prophylaxis

Secondary chemoprophylaxis to reduce the risk of reactivation of T cruzi infection in persons with concomitant HIV infection is not recommended.

Laboratory personnel who work with T cruzi or infected vectors should take protective measures appropriate for this risk group 2 organism.

Persons who travel to endemic areas should avoid sleeping in primitive buildings and should take general measures to protect themselves from insects.

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