Chagas' Disease: Prevention, diverse methods

on 10.12.08 with 0 comments

The animal reservoir of Trypanosoma cruzi cannot be eradicated. There is no vaccine. Chagas’ disease is typically a disease of poverty. Improvements in housing (brick or plaster walls, corrugated iron roofs, long-acting insecticides on house walls) diminish the insect population. A mosquito net has also proved its usefulness here. Serological testing of the blood used for transfusion is very helpful. In 1953 it was discovered that adding gentian violet kills the trypanosomes in 24 hours (0.25 g/litre of blood = 1/4000). This colours the blood purple, however. If 2 mg/ml of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is also added and the blood is illuminated with a 75 Watt fluorescent lamp, the time necessary to sterilise the blood is greatly shortened (30'). To date the various biological methods of eradication of the vectors which have been tested (increasing natural enemies) have not been effective because a new ecological balance is very quickly achieved.

Category: Medicine Notes



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