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xenodiagnosis


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n. a procedure for diagnosing infections transmitted by insect carriers. Uninfected insects of the species known to carry the disease in question are allowed to suck the blood of a patient suspected of having the disease. A positive diagnosis is made if the disease parasites appear in the insects. This method has proved invaluable for diagnosing Chagas’ disease, using reduviid bugs (the carriers), since the parasites are not always easily detected in blood smears.

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