Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas)

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Record number: 
Adverse Occurrence type: 
MPHO Type: 
Estimated frequency: 
Rare occurrence outside endemic areas, where targeted serological screening of blood donors can be used to identify asymptomatic infections.
Time to detection: 
2 months
Alerting signals, symptoms, evidence of occurrence: 
Fever, leukopenia, fatigue, headache, myalgia were noted approximately 2 months after transfusion of implicated platelet unit. Progressed to cardiac and CNS involvement, with pericardial and pleural effusion, dyspnea, anasarca, myoclonus and seizures. Received 120 days of nifurtimox and 20 days of subcutanous gamma interferon, with clinical recovery. T. cruzi was visualized in peripheral blood smear and bone marrow aspirate, isolated in blood culture and through inoculation of nude mice.
Demonstration of imputability or root cause: 
Asymptomatic, seropositive Bolivian donor. Five other recipients (exact product type not described) did not develop any evidence of T. cruzi infection. The recipient of platelets (this case) was seronegative for T. cruzi one year prior to receiving the implicated platelet unit and had never traveled outside North America.
Imputability grade: 
2 Probable
Suggest new keywords: 
pleural effusion
pericardial effusion
gamma interferon
bone marrow
Reference attachment: 
Suggest references: 
Grant, I.H., Gold, J.W, Wittner, M., Tanowitz, H.B., Nathan, C., Mayer, K.,Reich, L., Wollner, N. Steinherz, L., Ghavimi, F., et al (1989).Transfusion-associated acute Chagas disease acquired in the United States. Ann Intern Med 111(10): 849-851.