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Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Jan-Feb;7(1):100-12.

Emerging Chagas disease: trophic network and cycle of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi from palm trees in the Amazon.

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  • 1Chagas' Disease Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Brasília, P.O. Box 04536, Postcode 70.919.970, Brasília, DF, Brazil. ateixeir@unb.br

Abstract

A trophic network involving molds, invertebrates, and vertebrates, ancestrally adapted to the palm tree (Attalaea phalerata) microhabitat, maintains enzootic Trypanosoma cruzi infections in the Amazonian county Paço do Lumiar, state of Maranhão, Brazil. We assessed seropositivity for T. cruzi infections in the human population of the county, searched in palm trees for the triatomines that harbor these infections, and gathered demographic, environmental, and socioeconomic data. Rhodnius pictipes and R. neglectus in palm-tree frond clefts or in houses were infected with T. cruzi (57% and 41%, respectively). Human blood was found in 6.8% of R. pictipes in houses, and 9 of 10 wild Didelphis marsupialis had virulent T. cruzi infections. Increasing human population density, rain forest deforestation, and human predation of local fauna are risk factors for human T. cruzi infections.

PMID:
11266300
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2631687
Free PMC Article
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