Transfusion-transmitted Chagas' disease

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Transfusion-transmitted Chagas' disease has been recognized since 1952. Until recently, no cases were reported outside of Latin America. However, emigration during the past 20 years expanded its transfusional geographic borders to North America. Trypanosoma cruzi-infected donors usually are asymptomatic, often for a lifetime. This situation complicates donor screening, particularly in regions where blood bank personnel are not familiar with the risk factors and natural history of this transfusion-transmitted infection. This review addresses the main aspects of epidemiology, risks of infection, clinical symptoms in donors and recipients, preventive measures, and blood donor screening to prevent transfusion-transmitted Chagas' disease.

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