Yale New Haven Hospital

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Trypanosoma cruzi Ab, total

Lab Section: 

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Lab Location: 


Reference Lab: 



Test ID: 




Chagas Antibody IgG


Semi-Quantitative Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay




12 days

Specimen Requirements: 

Collection: 3.0 mL Blood in a Gold Top Tube.
Pediatric volume: 1 mL.
Serum separator tube. Parallel testing is preferred and convalescent specimens must be received within 30 days of the acute specimens. Mark specimens plainly as "acute" or "convalescent."
Transport: Refrigerated. Also acceptable: Room temperature or frozen.
Unacceptable conditions: Plasma. Bacterially contaminated, heat-inactivated, hemolyzed, icteric, lipemic, or turbid specimens.
Stability: After separation from cells: Ambient: 48 hours; Refrigerated: 2 weeks; Frozen: 1 year



Clinical Indications: Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) is an acute and chronic infection caused by the protozoan hemoflagellate, Trypanosoma cruzi which is endemic in many areas of South and Central America. The parasite is usually transmitted by the bite of reduviid (or "kissing") bugs of the genus Triatoma, but also has been transmitted by blood transfusion, organ transplantation, and apparently also by food ingestion. The acute febrile infection is most often undiagnosed and often resolves spontaneously. The actively motile (trypomastigote) form may be demonstrated in peripheral blood by stained smears during the acute phase. Chronic infections are often asymptomatic but may progress to produce disabling and life-threatening cardiac (cardiomegaly, conduction defects) and gastrointestinal (megaesophagus and megacolon) disease. These damaged tissues contain the intracellular (amastigote) of Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is not seen in the blood during the chronic phase. Diagnosis at this time is made by serology or tissue biopsy. A positive serology is considered presumptive evidence of active infection. Serologically positive asymptomatic persons are capable of transmitting the infection.

A positive serology is considered evidence of active infection. Infected individuals usually begin producing antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi during the first month following exposure to the parasite. Antibody levels may fluctuate during the chronic phase of the disease and may become undetectable after several months. Uninfected individuals are not expected to have detectable levels of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi.

Reference Interval: 

See patient report or consult reference laboratory website.


CPT Code(s): 


Last Changed: 

12/16/2016 10:42:54

Last Reviewed: 

8/16/2017 7:13:23