Eco-bio-social research on community-based approaches for Chagas disease vector control in Latin America.

Research paper by Ricardo E RE Gürtler, Zaida E ZE Yadon

Indexed on: 22 Jan '15Published on: 22 Jan '15Published in: Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


This article provides an overview of three research projects which designed and implemented innovative interventions for Chagas disease vector control in Bolivia, Guatemala and Mexico. The research initiative was based on sound principles of community-based ecosystem management (ecohealth), integrated vector management, and interdisciplinary analysis. The initial situational analysis achieved a better understanding of ecological, biological and social determinants of domestic infestation. The key factors identified included: housing quality; type of peridomestic habitats; presence and abundance of domestic dogs, chickens and synanthropic rodents; proximity to public lights; location in the periphery of the village. In Bolivia, plastering of mud walls with appropriate local materials and regular cleaning of beds and of clothes next to the walls, substantially decreased domestic infestation and abundance of the insect vector Triatoma infestans. The Guatemalan project revealed close links between house infestation by rodents and Triatoma dimidiata, and vector infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. A novel community-operated rodent control program significantly reduced rodent infestation and bug infection. In Mexico, large-scale implementation of window screens translated into promising reductions in domestic infestation. A multi-pronged approach including community mobilisation and empowerment, intersectoral cooperation and adhesion to integrated vector management principles may be the key to sustainable vector and disease control in the affected regions.