Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis is a complex anthropozoonosis caused by the flagellate protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. This sickness affects around 8 million people in Latin-America despite the intensive programs implemented to control the illness-transmitting vectors [1–3]. In addition, the increasing number of migrants from Latin-American countries has globally spread the T. cruzi infection to non-endemic areas [4, 5]. Nowadays, other ways of infection such as congenital transmission, blood transfusion and organ transplantation are becoming prevalent and relevant from a public health point of view in both endemic and non-endemic countries .
The disease passes through various different clinical stages. The parasite can be visualized in the blood stream during the acute stage and eventually detected by PCR in the chronic stages of the disease. In absence of treatment, the acute phase is followed by an indeterminate stage in which the parasites are present into specific tissues . In 30% of patients, the infection leads to a symptomatic chronic phase. Despite low mortality during this symptomatic stage, serious cardiac and/or digestive alterations are present [7, 8]. Arrhythmias, electrocardiographic abnormalities together with cardiomegaly and/or systolic dysfunction may appear when there is cardiac damage [9, 10]. Megaesophagus or megacolon are indicative of gastrointestinal damage and, although these clinical manifestations are usually not highly severe, they are associated to morbidity .
Anti-trypanosomal treatment is strongly recommended for all cases of the acute, congenital and reactivated infection of T. cruzi, and for the treatment of young chronic patients . However, its efficacy for treatment of adult patients in the chronic phase of the disease is under consideration [12, 13]. New drugs are being currently examined, some now in the advanced stages of development .
At present, the most widely used serological tests for Chagas disease diagnosis are based on homogenates of total parasite proteins or combinations of recombinant proteins as antigens [15–17]. Although all these techniques are very sensitive for the diagnosis of Chagas disease , the evaluation of the evolution of the patients under and following treatment is ambiguous since some T. cruzi antibodies are long lasting  and a significant seroconversion occurs only several years post treatment [11, 20]. Thus, conventional serological tests are not useful for short- and medium-term post-treatment monitoring as they do not allow early recognition of a therapeutic failure [21–23]. Consequently, reliable tools for the evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of the drugs are needed.
The aim of the present study was to search for immunological markers, against which the reactivity of sera from Chagas disease patients could be modified by benznidazole treatment, thus providing potential predictive diagnostic value.