Ecological, social and biological risk factors for continued Trypanosoma cruzi transmission by Triatoma dimidiata in Guatemala.

Research paper by Dulce M DM Bustamante, Sandra M SM De Urioste-Stone, José G JG Juárez, Pamela M PM Pennington

Indexed on: 30 Aug '14Published on: 30 Aug '14Published in: PloS one


Chagas disease transmission by Triatoma dimidiata persists in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America under undefined ecological, biological and social (eco-bio-social) conditions.Eco-bio-social risk factors associated with persistent domiciliary infestation were identified by a cross-sectional survey and qualitative participatory methods. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated regarding Trypanosoma cruzi reservoirs and triatomine hosts. Blood meal analysis and infection of insects, dogs and rodents were determined. Based on these data, multimodel inference was used to identify risk factors for domestic infestation with the greatest relative importance (>0.75).Blood meal analysis showed that 64% of 36 bugs fed on chickens, 50% on humans, 17% on dogs; 24% of 34 bugs fed on Rattus rattus and 21% on Mus musculus. Seroprevalence among 80 dogs was 37%. Eight (17%) of 46 M. musculus and three (43%) of seven R. rattus from households with infected triatomines were infected with T. cruzi Distinct Typing Unit I. Results from interviews and participatory meetings indicated that vector control personnel and some householders perceived chickens roosting and laying eggs in the house as bug infestation risk factors. House construction practices were seen as a risk factor for bug and rodent infestation, with rodents being perceived as a pest by study participants. Multimodel inference showed that house infestation risk factors of high relative importance are dog density, mouse presence, interior wall plaster condition, dirt floor, tile roofing and coffee tree presence.Persistent house infestation is closely related to eco-bio-social factors that maintain productive T. dimidiata habitats associated with dogs, chickens and rodents. Triatomine, dog and rodent infections indicate active T. cruzi transmission. Integrated vector control methods should include actions that consider the role of peridomestic animals in transmission and community memberś level of knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with the disease and transmission process.

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