The etiological treatment of Chagas disease is recommended for all patients with acute or recent chronic infection, but controversies remain regarding the benefit of chemotherapy and interpretations of the parasitological cure after etiological treatment. This study compares the laboratory and clinical evaluations of Chagas disease patients who were diagnosed 13 years earlier. Fifty-eight Chagas disease patients (29 treated with benznidazole and 29 untreated) were matched at the time of treatment based on several variables. Conventional serology revealed the absence of seroconversion in all patients. However, lower serological titres were verified in the treated group, primarily among patients who had the indeterminate form of the disease. Haemoculture performed 13 years after the intervention was positive for 6.9% and 27.6% of the treated and untreated patients, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction tests were positive for 44.8% and 13.8% of the treated and untreated patients, respectively. Patients who presented with the indeterminate form of the disease at the beginning of the study exhibited less clinical progression (17.4%) compared with the untreated group (56.5%). Therefore, this global analysis revealed that etiological treatment with benznidazole may benefit patients with respect to the clinical progression of Chagas disease and the prognosis, particularly when administered to patients with the indeterminate form of the disease.
Malaria is currently one of the most serious public health problems in Colombia with an endemic/epidemic transmission pattern that has maintained endemic levels and an average of 105,000 annual clinical cases being reported over the last five years. Plasmodium vivax accounts for approximately 70% of reported cases with the remainder attributed almost exclusively to Plasmodium falciparum. A limited number of severe and complicated cases have resulted in mortality, which is a downward trend that has been maintained over the last few years. More than 90% of the malaria cases in Colombia are confined to 70 municipalities (about 7% of the total municipalities of Colombia), with high predominance (85%) in rural areas. The purpose of this paper is to review the progress of malaria-eradication activities and control measures over the past century within the eco-epidemiologic context of malaria transmission together with official consolidated morbidity and mortality reports. This review may contribute to the formulation of new antimalarial strategies and policies intended to achieve malaria elimination/eradication in Colombia and in the region.
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