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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 401864, 10 pages
Review Article

Chagas’ Disease: Pregnancy and Congenital Transmission

Departamento de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-228, 04510 México, DF, Mexico

Received 14 February 2014; Revised 11 April 2014; Accepted 24 April 2014; Published 15 May 2014

Academic Editor: Veeranoot Nissapatorn

Copyright © 2014 Ana María Cevallos and Roberto Hernández. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chagas disease is a chronic infection that kills approximately 12,000 people a year. Mass migration of chronically infected and asymptomatic persons has caused globalization of Chagas disease and has made nonvectorial infection, including vertical and blood-borne transmission, more of a threat to human communities than vectorial infection. To control transmission, it is essential to test all pregnant women living in endemic countries and all pregnant women having migrated from, or having lived in, endemic countries. All children born to seropositive mothers should be tested not only within the first month of life but also at ~6 months and ~12 months of age. The diagnosis is made by identification of the parasite in blood before the age of 6 months and by identification of the parasite in blood and/or positive serology after 10 months of age. Follow up for a year is essential as a significant proportion of cases are initially negative and are only detected at a later stage. If the condition is diagnosed and treated early, the clinical response is excellent and the majority of cases are cured.