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Acta Trop. 2003 Sep;88(1):33-8.

Pyrethroid-impregnated curtains for Chagas' disease control in Venezuela.

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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK.


The use of insecticide treated materials for the control of Chagas' disease transmission is potentially a cost-effective and sustainable option where vectors are sylvatic. A study was undertaken in two rural Chagas' disease endemic communities (96 households) of Trujillo State, Venezuela. After a baseline study (including a short questionnaire survey, assessment of housing conditions, vector behaviour and preferences in vector protection), 37 households were chosen at random for protection by impregnated or non-impregnated curtains. During the 30-day entomological study vector collection of triatomine bugs were conducted in the early morning. The protective efficacy of curtains was determined by the number of vectors found dead or alive in control and experimental houses. It was found that house infestation of Chagas' disease vectors was high (60% of houses) in spite of good-quality houses due to a re-housing programme. The vectors were sylvatic (mainly Rhodnius robustus) and entered the houses at night. More than half the population (52%) preferred curtains to bednets for Chagas' disease protection. Users of pyrethroid-impregnated curtains were well protected as no living triatomines were found in bedrooms of houses with impregnated curtains compared to houses with non-impregnated curtains where an average of 4/7 vectors were found alive in bedrooms. In houses with impregnated curtains 21/30 triatomines died within 72 h; the triatomines which survived were found exclusively in rooms where no impregnated curtains had been placed. In houses with non-impregnated curtains 20% (6/30) of vectors died, probably due to rough handling. It is concluded that pyrethroid-impregnated curtains represent an important option for the reduction or even elimination of man-vector contact and thus of Chagas' disease transmission in areas where species of small triatomine bugs such as Rhodnius prolixus and R. robustus are the main vectors.

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