Usefulness of serial blood sampling and PCR replicates for treatment monitoring of patients with chronic Chagas disease

by Parrado R, Ramirez JC, de la Barra A, Alonso-Vega C, Juiz N, Ortiz L, Illanes D, Torrico F, Gascon J, Alves F, Flevaud L, Garcia L, Schijman AG, Ribeiro I. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2019, 63(2): e01191-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01191-18

Summary: This work evaluated a serial blood sampling procedure to enhance the sensitivity of duplex real time PCR (qPCR) for baseline detection and quantification of bloodstream parasitic loads and post-treatment identification of failure in the context of clinical trials for treatment of adult chronic Chagas disease. The serial sampling strategy explored enhanced PCR sensitivity to detecting treatment failure during follow-up and has the potential for improving recruitment capacity in Chagas disease clinical trials, which require an initial positive qPCR result for patient admission. Monitoring of samples from patients treated with placebo revealed that a proportion of patients had fluctuations in parasitic loads and occasional non-detectable results, reflecting the fluctuations in parasitaemia observed in chronic patients using traditional parasitological methods.

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