The acute phase of Chagas disease can occur at any age, however the pediatric population is usually the most affected (from one to 15 years), so it is very important to detect and treat it as soon as possible to try to eliminate the circulating parasite.
The main objective of this research is to present the first seroepidemiological study of the infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, carried out to students of school age of both urban and rural primary schools in the State of Querétaro and at the same time, the validation of an enzyme excreted by the hemoflagellate parasite, Superoxide Dismutase (SODe), as an adequate molecular marker.
In this study, a total of 540 sera collected between February 2015 and May 2016 were evaluated through ELISA and Western blot tests using the marker excreted as an antigenic part, in an ELISA-SODe and a WB-SODe.
Of the total of sera studied 106 (19.6%) gave reactivity. Of these, 99 sera were reactive against ELISA-SODe (prevalence of 18.3%), whereas 100 sera were reactive for WB-SODe (prevalence of 18.52%). The results of the two applied tests were evaluated and compared, using the Western blot technique, as gold standard, to find that the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA-SODe reach respectively 93% and 99%.
Our study provides seroepidemiological data on the presence of chagasic infection in the pediatric population of rural and urban areas in Santiago de Querétaro and, at the same time, we confirm that the SODe excreted by Trypanosoma cruzi is highly immunogenic, which indicates it as an excellent tool for the early diagnosis of Chagas disease.