Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
FREITAS, Simone Patrícia Carneiro et al. Feeding patterns of Triatoma pseudomaculata in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.1, pp.27-32. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102005000100004.
OBJECTIVE: T. pseudomaculata, a peridomicilar species, has low rates of T. cruzi infection. The occurrence of this triatomine in the domicile and its feeding patterns was investigated to identify potential T. cruzi reservoirs. METHODS: Nine-hundred and twenty-one specimens of T. pseudomaculata were captured from January 2001 to July 2002 in 13 southern municipalities of the state of Ceará, Brazil. The intestinal contents of the triatomines was removed, spread in a filter paper and tested for the following antisera: bird, cat, cockroach, dog, human, lizard, opossum, ox/goat, pig, and rodent. The presence of T. cruzi was investigated by wet mount microscopic exam and culture (NNN+LIT) of intestinal contents. RESULTS: Of the total studied, 184 (90.6%) were positive for the tested antisera: bird (62.5%)> rodent (33.7%)> dog (20.1%)> opossum (9.8%)> lizard and ox/goat (5%)> cat (2.7%)> pig and cockroach (2.2%)> human (1.6%). Blood meals ranged from none (non-reactive) to four as follows: non-reactive (9.4%), one (57.1%), two (26%), three (7%), and four (0.5%). Only three specimens (1.6%) had T. cruzi infection. CONCLUSIONS: The low incidence of human blood meal shows that T. pseudomaculata is well-adjusted to the peridomicile. However, the epidemiological vigilance in this region is key due to this species' proximity to domiciles.
Keywords : Food habits; Trypanosoma cruzi; Ecology, vectors; Disease vectors; Insect vectors; Triatoma pseudomaculata.