Barcelona International Health Research Center (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.
Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and is an endemic zoonosis in the American continent. Thanks to the successful implementation of national programs for reducing the vectorial infestation and the strict control of blood-borne transmission of Chagas disease, the relative importance of congenital transmission has recently increased. Nowadays, in areas without vectorial transmission, congenital transmission has become the main way by which the disease has spread. This article reviews current knowledge on Chagas disease, focusing on the congenital transmission route. The public health implications of the increasing number of T. cruzi-infected immigrants and congenital transmission in nonendemic areas is also analyzed.