A research has analyzed the performance of chimeric antigens for the diagnosis of chronic Chagas disease using rapid tests. The study led by researcher Fred Luciano Neves Santos, of Fiocruz Bahia, used serum samples from different geographical regions of Brazil and from patients with different clinical presentations of the disease. The work was described in an article published in the BioMed Research International journal.
Rapid tests have the advantage of being cheaper and requiring no specific equipment, representing a promising methodology to trace Chagas disease as they show results in up to 15 minutes, in remote areas or health structures with limited resources.
This research tested 32 blood samples, both negative and positive for Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan that causes Chagas disease. These samples were originally from endemic areas in the states of Alagoas (AL), Bahia (BA), Goiás (GO), Minas Gerais (MG), Paraíba (PB) and Pernambuco (PE), in addition to non-endemic areas in the southern state of Paraná (PR).
Regardless of the geographical origin or clinical presentation, all samples with antibodies for T. cruzi tested positive for IBMP-8.1 and IBMP-8.4 chimeric antigens. The group emphasizes the need for a large-scale study (phase 2 study), with more patients, to validate the results observed here. It is expected to be carried out in 2021.