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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Feb;100(2):296-302. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0480.

Multiple Approaches to Address Potential Risk Factors of Chagas Disease Transmission in Northeastern Brazil.

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Laboratório de Ecoepidemiologia da Doença de Chagas, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Laboratório de Diagnóstico Molecular e Hematologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP)/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Laboratório de Biologia e Parasitologia de Mamíferos Silvestres Reservatórios, IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Escritório Regional Fiocruz Piauí, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Teresina, Brazil.
Laboratório de Epidemiologia e Sistemática Molecular, IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Unicamp, Campinas, Brazil.


Chagas disease is one of the most significant systemic parasitosis in Latin America, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, which is mainly transmitted by hematophagous insects, the triatomines. This research was carried out in both domestic and wild environments throughout a Northeastern rural locality. Triatomines were captured in both peridomicile and wild environments, obtaining 508 specimens of triatomines, of which 99.6% were Triatoma brasiliensis. Insects were captured in 10 (18.5%) peridomiciles with an average of 8.3 triatomines per residence. Triatoma brasiliensis nymphs and adults were found in six peridomiciles, generating a 11.1% colonization. No T. cruzi infection was detected in the 447 peridomestic insects analyzed. On the other hand, of the 55 sylvatic T. brasiliensis molecularly examined for T. cruzi, 12 (21%) were positive, all harboring T. cruzi I. The blood meal analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from gut content revealed that both peridomestic and wild triatomine populations fed mainly on birds, refractory to the parasite, which may explain the null rate of natural infection prevalence in the domestic environment. However, infected triatomines for potential home infestation within the radius of insect dispersion capacity were registered in rock outcrops around the dwellings. Anthropogenic environmental influences are able to rapidly alter these scenarios. Therefore, to avoid disease transmission to humans, we recommend constant vector control combined with periodic serological surveillance. The associated methodology presented herein may serve as a model for early detections of risk factors for Chagas disease transmission in the Brazilian Northeast.

[Available on 2020-02-01]

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