VRL announces that we now have T. cruzi PCR available for testing canine samples:
T.cruzi PCR    Test Code 8540    Specimen Requirements: 1.0 ml-2.0 ml EDTA whole blood
Chagas disease is a parasitic infection caused by T. curzi, which is transmitted by triatomid insect vectors to vertebrate hosts. Natural T.cruzi infection has been reported in humans, primates, live stocks, pets, rodents, etc.  Chagas disease is endemic in South America, Central America, U.S. and Mexico. Seroprevalence of T. cruzi in dogs is about 7.5-8.8% in Texas, U.S. The infection of T. cruzi in dogs causes nonspecific clinical signs, such as depression, lethargy, exercise intolerance, and increased heart rate. Some dogs may be asymptomatic and progressively develop heart failure in years.  The diagnosis of acute infection of T. cruzi can be made by testing fresh EDTA whole blood by PCR.
If you have any questions, please contact either Dr. Chih-Ling Zao at Chih-Ling.Zao@vrl.net  (210-615-7275 Ext 606) or Anthony Cooke at Anthony.Cooke@vrl.net  (210-615-7275 Ext 850).