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New screening strategy for detection of chagas disease in children
Date:12/25/2007

received insecticide application. They also found that households with infected children were significantly clustered spatially around each other.

The researchers then related their findings to data that had been collected during the vector control campaign (entomological, spatial, and census data). They found that using such data to target diagnostic testing would have identified over 83% of the infected children while testing only 22% of eligible children (only 22% would have to be tested because of the way the households with infected children clustered).

Levy and colleagues conclude that data easily collected during an ongoing insecticide spraying campaign in Arequipa could be used to identify children at greatest risk of infection with T. cruzi.

The study is the first, according to the authors, to describe T. cruzi transmission in an urban environment and to show evidence that transmission may be epidemic in Arequipa.

In a related commentary article also publishing on December 26, 2007, in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ricardo Grtler (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina), an internationally recognized authority on Chagas disease, commended Levy and colleagues study, saying the usual approaches to active case detection require surveying the whole population at risk, and therefore are labor-intensive and costly. It is in this context that the article by Levy et al. attains high relevance for the pending task of massive case detection and treatment of infected children in resource-poor settings.


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Contact: Mary Kohut
Press@plos.org
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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