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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 32-34
Case Report

A Case of Vertical Transmission of Chagas Disease Contracted via Blood Transfusion in Canada

Margaret A Fearon,1 Vito Scalia,1 Mary Huang,1 Irene Dines,1 Momar Ndao,2 and Philippe Lagacé-Wiens3

1Medical, Scientific and Research Affairs, Canadian Blood Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2National Reference Centre for Parasitology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Travel and Tropical Medicine Services, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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 caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is endemic in many countries in Latin America, where infected bugs of the Triatominea subfamily carry the parasite in the gut and transmit it to humans through fecal contamination of a bite. However, vertical transmission and transmission through blood transfusion and organ transplantation is well documented. Increasing immigration from endemic countries to North America has prompted blood operators, including Canadian Blood Services and Hema Quebec, to initiate blood donor testing for Chagas antibody. In the present report, an unusual case of vertical transmission from a mother, most likely infected through blood transfusion, and detected as part of a concurrent seroprevalence study in blood donors is described.