GOLD Learning Speakers

U.S.A

Morven S Edwards, BA , MD

  • Speaker Type: 2020
  • Country: U.S.A
Biography:

Dr. Morven S. Edwards is Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and an Attending Physician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. Dr. Edwards maintains a longstanding interest in group B streptococcal infections and their prevention through immunization. She has been the recipient of a Cooperative Agreement through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve knowledge and practices among healthcare providers about congenital Chagas disease. Dr. Edwards is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

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Chagas Disease: Pregnancy-Based Screening to Benefit Mother and Infant
Chagas disease is a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Chagas disease is endemic in Mexico, Central America or South America. Approximately 8-10 million people in Latin America and 300,000 people in the United States have Chagas disease. Chagas disease damages the heart and causes approximately 10,000 deaths yearly. Approximately 30,000-45,000 people in the United States have Chagas cardiomyopathy. Most are unaware of the infection and have no symptoms. The common mode of acquiring Chagas disease is vector-borne. Acute infection is often asymptomatic. Infection is life-long if untreated and, over years or decades, 20% to 40% of people develop Chagas heart or gastrointestinal disease. Infection is also transmitted congenitally. In the United States there are ~40,000 women in the childbearing years with Chagas disease who give birth to ~63-315 infected infants each year. Some infants have signs of infection at birth but none is specific for Chagas disease. Maternal infection can be diagnosed by a commercially-available ELISA testing for T. cruzi IgG. At its cost of ~$50, screening would be cost-saving, whether implemented universally or for at-risk women. Treatment of confirmed infection is curative for infants, prevents transmission in future pregnancies and reduces risk for cardiomyopathy in women in the childbearing years.
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