Molecular Tools and Strategies for Diagnosis of Chagas Disease and Leishmaniasis
Pp. 394-453 (60)
Alejandro G. Schijman, Juan M. Burgos and Paula L. Marcet
Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, caused by the kinetoplastid protozoans
Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp., respectively, affect millions of people
worldwide, most of them belonging to neglected populations. Diagnostic tests for
Chagas disease are employed during epidemiological surveys of vectorial and oral
transmission, blood bank screening, analysis of pregnant women and their newborns,
and in individual cases. However, the currently available assays need improvement.
The different phases of the disease, the transmission mode and the high genetic
variability of the parasite increase the difficulties of making diagnostic kits with
different markers suitable for the diverse scenarios of T. cruzi infection. Different
Leishmania species cause diverse clinical features and sequelae and require different
clinical management. In contrast to Chagas disease diagnosis, molecular diagnosis for
leishmaniasis requires not only confirmation of the infection but also the genotyping of
complexes, species or subspecies. Precise diagnosis and rapid species identification can
facilitate decision-making respect to treatment and follow-up of parasite spread. The
aim of this chapter is to summarize the most commonly used molecular tools described
to date to detect T. cruzi infection and to detect and genotype Leishmania spp.
Benznidazole, Chagas disease, HIV co-infection, Internal transcribed spacer,
Isoenzymes, Leishmaniasis, Loop-mediated amplification, Molecular diagnosis,
Recombinant antigens, Serodiagnosis.
Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de la Enfermedad de Chagas, Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular “Dr Hector Torres” (INGEBI-CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.