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J Med Entomol. 2005 Jul;42(4):571-81.

Spatiotemporal patterns of reinfestation by Triatoma guasayana (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in a rural community of northwestern Argentina.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Eco-Epidemiología, Departamento de Ecología, Genètica y Evolución, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Triatoma guasayana (Wygodzinsky & Abalos) is a secondary vector of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas), the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, in the Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The spatial distribution of T. guasayana in a rural community in northwestern Argentina is described and analyzed using very high spatial resolution satellite imagery, geographic information systems, and spatial statistics. Since a 1992 residual spraying with insecticides of all houses, site-specific domestic and peridomestic reinfestations by triatomine bugs were monitored using various methods semiannually from 1993 to 2002. The reinfestation by T. guasayana started with finding of only adult bugs in a few sites. Bug abundance was significantly clustered and predominantly peridomestic in the southern and northern extremes of the community. The identified source of reinfestation in the northern cluster was a colonized wood pile, whereas no potential peridomestic source was found for the southern cluster. The spatial distribution of T. guasayana was positively associated with the abundance and spatial distribution of goats. Active dispersal from the hypothesized source and the surrounding sylvatic environment, and passive transport of bugs in wood piles seems to be the most likely mechanisms underlying the observed spatial pattern of T. guasayana. The absence of domestic colonization indicates that, to date, there is no trend toward increased local domiciliation of T. guasayana. The clustering zones can be considered "hot spots" where bug invasion from other sources is expected to be higher and where eventually, introduction of sylvatic T. cruzi to suitable hosts may occur.

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