Journal Article

A 12-mer repetitive antigenic epitope from <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i> is a potential marker of therapeutic efficacy in chronic Chagas' disease

Ana Fernandez-Villegas, M. Carmen Thomas, Bartolomé Carrilero, Paola Lasso, Adriana Egui, Laura Murcia, Manuel Segovia, Carlos Alonso and Manuel Carlos López

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 71, issue 7, pages 2005-2009
Published in print July 2016 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online April 2016 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:

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  • Medical Oncology
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The objective was to characterize a Trypanosoma cruzi repetitive amino acid sequence that can be used as a marker of therapeutic drug efficacy in patients with chronic Chagas' disease.


Reactivities to the 3973 peptide were measured in 85 patients with Chagas' disease (41 in the asymptomatic stage and 44 in the cardiomyopathy stage) before and 9 and 24 months after benznidazole administration. Additionally, the levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein were measured in serum samples from patients with cardiomyopathy.


In 85% of the asymptomatic patients and 73% of the symptomatic chronic patients, modifications of the reactivity to the 3973 peptide were observed at 9 and 24 months post-benznidazole treatment. Significant variations in reactivities to the total antigens of T. cruzi were not observed at these times. Significant decreases in the reactivity to the 3973 peptide were observed after treatment in 20 of 41 (49%) asymptomatic patients and 15 of 44 (34%) cardiac chagasic patients (P < 0.001). In these patients, the decreases in reactivity at 24 months post-treatment were at least 40% lower than those detected before treatment. No correlations were found of the detected modifications in reactivity to the 3973 peptide after treatment with the levels of C-reactive protein or IL-6.


Decreases in reactivity to the 3973 peptide may be relevant in the post-treatment follow-up of chronic chagasic patients.

Journal Article.  2575 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care