An entomological and seroepidemiological study of Chagas' disease in an area in central-western Venezuela infested with Triatoma maculata (Erichson 1848)

This article presents a study on seroepidemiological, entomologic, and risk factors for domiciliary infestation in a circumscribed area infested with Triatoma maculata in Parroquia Xaguas, Urdaneta Municipality, Lara State, Venezuela. One hundred and forty households, 509 persons, and 110 dogs were sampled. Serum anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies were determined by means of ELISA and MABA techniques using recombinant antigens. Tr. cruzi infection in the triatomines was determined by direct microscopy and PCR. According to the results, 1.57% of humans and 6.36% of dogs were positive for serum anti-Tr. cruzi antibodies. Triatomine species were: 97.98% T. maculata, 1.65% Eratyrus mucronatus, and 0.37% Panstrongylus geniculatus. Vector indices were: 0.36% vector infection, 16.4% household infestation, 39.1% household colonization, 8.6% household co-infestation, and 100% vector dispersion. Domiciliary and peridomiciliary infestation was associated with the presence of chickens and disorderly goat corrals, chicken coops, and domiciliary distribution. The results strongly suggest that T. maculata is the predominant Tr. cruzi vector in the area and that due to its capacity to infest and colonize human dwellings, it could be involved in Chagas' disease transmission.

Triatoma maculata; Trypanosoma cruzi; Chagas' Disease; Risk Factors

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