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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1999;94 Suppl 1:379-84.

Chagas disease: from bush to huts and houses. Is it the case of the Brazilian Amazon?

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Departamento de Medicina Tropical, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


Two of the major problems facing the Amazon - human migration from the other areas and uncontrolled deforestation - constitute the greatest risk for the establishment of endemic Chagas disease in this part of Brazil. At least 18 species of triatomines had been found in the Brazilian Amazon, 10 of them infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, associated with numerous wild reservoirs. With wide-range deforestation, wild animals will perforce be driven into other areas, with tendency for triatomines to become adapted to alternative food sources in peri and intradomicilies. Serological surveys and cross-sectional studies for Chagas disease, carried out in rural areas of the Rio Negro, in the Brazilian Amazon, showed a high level of seropositivity for T. cruzi antibodies. A strong correlation of seroreactivity with the contact of gatherers of pia├žava fibers with wild triatomines could be evidenced.

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