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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464


FERNANDES, Alexandre José et al. Relationships between Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles in the county of Bambuí, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, n.4, pp.473-480. ISSN 1678-4464.

This study examines recent relationships between domestic and sylvatic transmission cycles of T.cruzi in the county of Bambuí, MG, Brazil. In the late l930s, Panstrongylus megistus was found in 75% of houses. Subsequently, Triatoma infestans became the predominant species, found in 20% of urban households and in more than 60% of periurban homes. With intense insecticide control campaigns between l956 and l969, T. infestans was eradicated from the county, transmission of Chagas' disease to man was interrupted, and P. mesgistus appeared in rural residences. Samples of T. cruzi isolated by xenodiagnosis and hemoculture from 43 opossums (Didelphis albiventris) captured in both peridomiciliary and sylvatic areas were characterized by isoenzyme analysis and - regardless of isolation method - were found to present the Z1 zymodeme profile. Through the "Chagas' Disease Epidemiological Surveillance Program", from August l986 to December l988, 154 specimens of P. megistus were captured by the local population in both peridomiciliary and intradomiciliary environments, of which 9.8% were infected with T. cruzi. In isoenzyme analyses of l3 T. cruzi strains isolated from these triatomines, six were found to be of the Z1 zymodeme (sylvatic transmission cycles) and seven were found to be of the Z2 zymodeme (domestic transmission cycle). The capture of P. megistus specimens in intradomiciliary environments that were naturally infected with parasites of both cycle types indicates an overlap of transmission cycles of Chagas' disease in the county of Bambuí. Further evidence for the interrelationship of the two cycles was provided by the isolation of T. cruzi of the Z2 zymodeme from a cat and the participation of the dog as a reservoir of Z1 T. cruzi. The presence of P. megistus in the peridomiciliary environment represents an important link between the sylvatic and intradomestic environments serving as a carrier of Z1 T. cruzi and maintaining the transmission cycles of Z2 T. cruzi in the peridomestic and intradomestic environments thus providing the potential for a gradual reinfestation of the county if the "Epidemiological Surveillance" is interrupted.

Keywords : Chagas' Disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; Infection; Transmission Cycles; Reservoirs; Zymodemes.

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