Chagas Disease: Pregnancy-Based Screening to Benefit Mother and Infant

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 3:00pm

Chagas disease is a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Chagas disease is endemic in Mexico, Central America or South America. Approximately 8-10 million people in Latin America and 300,000 people in the United States have Chagas disease. Chagas disease damages the heart and causes approximately 10,000 deaths yearly. Approximately 30,000-45,000 people in the United States have Chagas cardiomyopathy. Most are unaware of the infection and have no symptoms. The common mode of acquiring Chagas disease is vector-borne. Acute infection is often asymptomatic. Infection is life-long if untreated and, over years or decades, 20% to 40% of people develop Chagas heart or gastrointestinal disease. Infection is also transmitted congenitally. In the United States there are ~40,000 women in the childbearing years with Chagas disease who give birth to ~63-315 infected infants each year. Some infants have signs of infection at birth but none is specific for Chagas disease. Maternal infection can be diagnosed by a commercially-available ELISA testing for T. cruzi IgG. At its cost of ~$50, screening would be cost-saving, whether implemented universally or for at-risk women. Treatment of confirmed infection is curative for infants, prevents transmission in future pregnancies and reduces risk for cardiomyopathy in women in the childbearing years.

Presenter: 

Dr. Morven Edwards, MD

Dr. Morven S. Edwards is Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and an Attending Physician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.  Dr. Edwards maintains a longstanding interest in group B streptococcal infections and their prevention through immunization.  She has been the recipient of a Cooperative Agreement through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve knowledge and practices among healthcare providers about congenital Chagas disease.  
Dr. Edwards is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 

Session type: 
(CEUS) - Recordings will be available on GOLD
Bridge: 
Bridge Certificate Eligible