The first phase of the study, launched in April 2021, identified the optimal serological tools to be used at each site. The consortium will now test the LAMP diagnostic kits provided by Eiken for the early detection of Chagas disease in newborns by analysing blood samples collected from babies born in the participating hospitals, both at birth and in their second month of life. The consortium will also assess the rapid diagnostic tests in pregnant mothers, compared to conventional serological tests.
“Thanks to the combined efforts in the three countries, we expect to validate these new methods and support a change in the existing screening strategies for congenital Chagas disease in newborns and for chronic disease in adults,” says Padilla.
Rapid, effective and affordable screening strategies could lead to many more babies—and adults—being promptly diagnosed and treated for this neglected tropical disease.