This article is a tour de force that reviews all the perils of pregnant women exposed to a myriad of parasites from our tropical regions in Latin America. The authors guide us to a host of conditions that favor numerous ailments of the most vulnerable population of our region, subjected as they are, to unhealthy environments and common parasites from protozoan to worms, that may invade and populate pregnant women, as well as their offspring. Through this extensive and terrifying tale, the readers will encounter all possible points of parasite entry, as well as the barriers, that may prevent such risks and vertical transmission to occur, from the whole body of the mother to the placenta and the fetus. The authors, not only describe the pathophysiology of the many instances and social conditions where a parasite infection may happen to a pregnant mother, in need of help and protection, but they also go the long way to explain in excruciating detail, all the available protocols of treatment to such diseases, as well as the necessary measures of prevention at a population scale. This warning and advice comes at a timely occasion of this humanitarian crisis, aggravated by Covid-19. The information comes from the best source of medical and science experts of this field, our premier institute of the Central University of Venezuela, The Institute of Tropical Medicine.
Rafael Rangel-Aldao, Editor.
Professor, Belkisyole Alarcón de Noya, graduated from the «Luis Razetti» School of Medicine of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) in 1975, and holds a PhD, from the University of Tulane in 1979. With a distinguished academic career in Venezuela and abroad, she has been the Chair of Department 1989-1999, and later the Head of the Immunology Section, of the Institute of Tropical Medicine from 2002 to the present time. She was also the Founder (1996) and Director of the National Postgraduate Program in Parasitology, until 2011. Dr. Alarcon was the General Coordinator of the School of Medicine 2000-2002, and the current Director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine since 2016. As a visiting scholar, she spent time at the Universities of Chiba, Tokyo, Tour, Perpignam, Japan; and at the Institute of Immunology of Bogota, Colombia. As a Tutor, Dr. Alarcón directed 15 undergraduate works, 10 Master’s, 2 Doctoral, and 3 doctoral projects in progress. She has published extensively with 58 articles in national journals, and 108 papers on leading international magazines, 25 chapters of books, and as an invited editor she published four more international books. With many awards, Dr. Alarcon is a recipient of the Order José María Vargas of the UCV, the highest academic honor, in 1998. As a researcher, she received four, “Luis Razetti” awards for Scientific Excellence, as well as the Award from the Faculty of Medicine Dr. «Edmundo Vallecalle», to the University Academic Career of the Faculty of Medicine in 2016. In 2018, the Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences gave her the coveted award, «Woman in Sciences 2017». Among her numerous publications, the following three are noteworthy of her many achievements: Noya O., Alarcón de Noya B. 1998. The multiple antigen blot assay (MABA): a simple immunoenzymatic technique for simultaneous screening of multiple antigens. Immunology Letters 1998; 63 (1): 53-56. Alarcón de Noya B, Díaz-Bello Z, Colmenares C, Ruiz R, Mauriello L, Zavala, R., Suarez JA, Abate T, Naranjo L, Paiva M, Rivas L, Castro J, Marques J, Mendoza I, Acquatella H , Torres J, Noya O. 2010. Large outbreak of orally acute acquired Chagas Disease, in a public school of Caracas, Venezuela. J. Infect. Dis. 2010: 1308-1315. Alarcón de Noya B, Noya, O, Robertson, L.J., Editors. 2015. Trypanosoma cruzi as a Foodborne Pathogen. Springer Briefs in Food, Health and Nutrition. Springer. New York, Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London. ISBN: 978-3-319-23409-0.
Professor, Raiza Ruiz, is a Lead Investigator at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Central University of Venezuela (UCV), and Chair of Parasitology of the School of Medicine «Luís Razetti». She received her undergraduate degree in Medicine and Surgery, at the “Luis Razetti”, School of Medicine, and Faculty of Medicine of Central University of Venezuela, 1974-1981. From 1984 to 1986, she followed her postgraduate studies to become a Pediatrician, at the University Hospital, Central University of Venezuela. As a scientist, Raiza Ruiz was trained at the National University of Brasilia, Brazil, were she received a MSc in Tropical Medicine, and later on, from 1987-1991, she was conferred the degree of PhD in Tropical Medicine and Infectology, at the Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 2001-2005. Her lines of research are, Schistosomiasis mansoni, Orally transmitted Chagas disease, Intestinal Helminthiases, and Human hydatid disease. Three relevant publications are: Ruiz-Guevara R, Alarcón de Noya B, Valero S, Lecuna P, Garassini M, Noya O. Clinical and ultrasound findings before and after praziquantel treatment among Venezuelan schistosomiasis patients. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 2007; 40(5): 505-511. Ruiz-Guevara R, Noya-González O, Alarcón de Noya B. Documented outbreaks of foodborne Chagas disease. In: Trypanosoma cruzi as a Foodborne Pathogen. Alarcón de Noya B, Noya-González O, Robertson LJ (eds) 2015. Springer, Switzerland, pp 59-71. Ruiz-Guevara R, Muñoz-Calderón A, Alarcón de Noya B, Redondo C, Pulido L, Beitia Y, Mauriello L, Rojas D, Muñoz J, Navarro E, Reyes-Lugo M. Brote familiar de Enfermedad de Chagas por transmisión oral en Yaguapita, Estado Miranda, Venezuela. 2017. Boletín de Malariología y Salud Ambiental 2017; 57(2): 45-57.