Use of the placental perfusion model to evaluate transplacental passage of Trypanosoma cruzi

Stuart H. Shippey, Christopher M. Zahn, Margaret M. Cisar, T. John Wu, Andrew J. Satin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether Trypanosoma cruzi could be identified in placental cells in vitro and in placental tissue using a human ex vivo perfusion model. Study design: A placental cell line was incubated with trypomastigotes for progressive time periods. Trypomastigotes were also infused as a bolus into the maternal circulation of a placental perfusion model. Maternal and fetal perfusates, and placental tissue, were analyzed for parasitic DNA using polymerase chain reaction; perfused specimens were also examined histologically. Results: Intracytoplasmic amastigotes were identified in trophoblast of the incubated cell line by 24-48 hours. Following placental perfusion, T cruzi DNA was identified in all postinoculation maternal perfusate samples and postinoculation placental tissue specimens; preinoculation controls were negative. Conclusion: This is the first description of the use of the human placental perfusion model to study congenital Chagas' disease, including the presence and time course of early parasitic invasion of the placenta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Congenital Chagas' disease
  • Placental perfusion model
  • Transplacental infection
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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