Risk of Trypanosoma cruzi infection among travellers visiting friends and relatives to continental Latin America
Background Chagas disease (CD) is regarded as a possible risk for travellers to endemic areas of continental Latin America (LA). The aim of the study is to determine the risk of Trypanosoma cruzi (TC) infection among travellers to CD endemic areas and to identify risk factors for acquiring TC infection. Methods/Principal finding We designed a multicenter cross-sectional study among travellers in Spain (Badalona, Barcelona and Madrid). All available adults with laboratory confirmed proof of absence of TC infection from January 2012 to December 2015 were contacted. Participants referring a trip to LA after the negative TC screening were offered to participate. We performed a standardized questionnaire of travel related factors and measurement of TC antibodies in serum. A total of 971 participants with baseline negative TC serology were selected from the microbiology records. After excluding participants not meeting inclusion criteria, eighty participants were selected. Sixty three (78.8%) were female, and the median age was 38 (IQR 34–47) years. The reason to travel was visiting friends and relatives in 98.8% of the participants. The median duration of travel was 40 (IQR 30–60) days, with 4911 participants-day of exposure. Seventy seven cases (96.25%) participants had two negative TC serology tests after the travel, two cases (2.5%) had discordant serology results (considered false positive results) and one case was infected before travelling to LA. According to our data, the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the incidence rate of TC acquisition in travellers is 0.8 per 1000 participant-days. Conclusions/Significance Among 79 non-CD travellers to TC endemic areas, we found no cases of newly acquired TC infection. The incidence rate of TC acquisition in travellers to endemic countries is less than or equal to 0.8 per 1000 traveller-days.
Medical risk factors; Serology; Chagas disease
Sánchez-Montalvá A, Salinas C, Sullerio E, Salvador F, Bosch-Nicolau P, Crespillo-Andújar C, et al. Risk of Trypanosoma cruzi infection among travellers visiting friends and relatives to continental Latin America. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jul 2;15(7):e0009528.
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