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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Parasitology Case Studies: Protozoa in Blood (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Congenital Chagas Disease Case

  • A boy was born to a 31 year-ol woman who recently immigrated from Bolivia
  • Cesarean dilivery was performed at 29 weeks gestation because of fetal hydrops
  • Baby tested negative for toxoplasmosis, herpes, CMV, enterovirus, malaria, and hepatitis
  • Mother reported a diagnosis of Chagas disease in Bolivia but received no treatment
  • Baby was positive by microscopy, serology, and PCR
  • Treatment with anti-trypanosoma drugs was successful
  • Symptoms in newborns are usually inconclusive or missing
  • Without history of maternal infection, congenital infection may be missed
  • Only 1-10% of babies born to infected mothers are also infected
  • Estimates vary for the number of congenital infection in the U.S. from 65 to 638
  • This 2010 case was the first report in the U.S.