Chagas disease is a parasitic infection caused by T. cruzi, which is transmitted by triatomid insect vectors, also known as kissing bugs, to vertebrate hosts. Dogs are one of the key blood-meal sources for triatomines to transmit T. cruzi. The infection of T. cruzi in dogs causes nonspecific clinical signs, such as depression, lethargy, exercise intolerance, and arrhythmias. If your patients are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to test for Chagas disease, especially if you live in an area with a higher density of triatomines (such as Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona).
At VRL, we understand the need for fast and reliable detection of T. cruzi. That’s why we offer PCR assays for the diagnosis of T. cruzi acute infection. The detection of T. cruzi DNA in circulating blood by PCR can also be used to monitor parasitemia during drug treatment. Serological screening of T. cruzi IgG antibodies is also available to detect past exposure to the infection.