Unicellular eukaryotes of the Trypanosomatidae family include human and animal pathogens that belong to the Trypanosoma
genera. Diagnosis of the diseases they cause requires the sampling of body fluids (e.g., blood, lymph, peritoneal fluid, cerebrospinal fluid) or organ biopsies (e.g., bone marrow, spleen), which are mostly obtained through invasive methods. Body fluids or appendages can be alternatives to these invasive biopsies but appropriateness remains poorly studied. To further address this question, we perform a systematic review on clues evidencing the presence of parasites, genetic material, antibodies, and antigens in body secretions, appendages, or the organs or proximal tissues that produce these materials. Paper selection was based on searches in PubMed, Web of Science, WorldWideScience, SciELO, Embase, and Google. The information of each selected article (n
= 333) was classified into different sections and data were extracted from 77 papers. The presence of Trypanosomatidae parasites has been tracked in most of organs or proximal tissues that produce body secretions or appendages, in naturally or experimentally infected hosts. The meta-analysis highlights the paucity of studies on human African trypanosomiasis and an absence on animal trypanosomiasis. Among the collected data high heterogeneity in terms of the I2
statistic (100%) is recorded. A high positivity is recorded for antibody and genetic material detection in urine of patients and dogs suffering leishmaniasis, and of antigens for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Data on conjunctival swabs can be analyzed with molecular methods solely for dogs suffering canine visceral leishmaniasis. Saliva and hair/bristles showed a pretty good positivity that support their potential to be used for leishmaniasis diagnosis. In conclusion, our study pinpoints significant gaps that need to be filled in order to properly address the interest of body secretion and hair or bristles for the diagnosis of infections caused by Leishmania and by other Trypanosomatidae parasites.
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