Comparison of four PCR methods for efficient detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in routine diagnostics

Peter Seiringer, Michael Pritsch, María Flores-Chavez, Edoardo Marchisio, Kerstin Helfrich, Carolin Mengele, Stefan Hohnerlein, Gisela Bretzel, Thomas Löscher, Michael Hoelscher, Nicole Berens-Riha

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Due to increased migration, Chagas disease has become an international health problem. Reliable diagnosis of chronically infected people is crucial for prevention of non-vectorial transmission as well as treatment. This study compared four distinct PCR methods for detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA for the use in well-equipped routine diagnostic laboratories. DNA was extracted of T. cruzi-positive and negative patients' blood samples and cultured T. cruzi, T. rangeli as well as Leishmania spp. One conventional and two real-time PCR methods targeting a repetitive Sat-DNA sequence as well as one conventional PCR method targeting the variable region of the kDNA minicircle were compared for sensitivity, intra- and interassay precision, limit of detection, specificity and cross-reactivity. Considering the performance, costs and ease of use, an algorithm for PCR-diagnosis of patients with a positive serology for T. cruzi antibodies was developed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood/parasitology
  • Chagas Disease/diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trypanosoma cruzi/genetics
  • Young Adult


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