Comprehensive Survey of Domiciliary Triatomine Species Capable of Transmitting Chagas Disease in Southern Ecuador

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Background: Chagas disease is endemic to the southern Andean region of Ecuador, an area with one of the highest poverty rates in the country. However, few studies have looked into the epidemiology, vectors and transmission risks in this region. In this study we describe the triatomine household infestation in Loja province, determine the rate of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in triatomines and study the risk factors associated with infestation. Methodology/Principal Findings: An entomological survey found four triatomine species (Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, Triatoma carrioni, Panstrongylus chinai, and P. rufotuberculatus) infesting domiciles in 68% of the 92 rural communities examined. Nine percent of domiciles were infested, and nymphs were observed in 80% of the infested domiciles. Triatomines were found in all ecological regions below 2,200 masl. We found R. ecuadoriensis (275 to 1948 masl) and T. carrioni (831 to 2242 masl) mostly in bedrooms within the domicile, and they were abundant in chicken coops near the domicile. Established colonies of P. chinai (175 to 2003 masl) and P. rufotuberculatus (404 to 1613 masl) also were found in the domicile. Triatomine infestation was associated with surrogate poverty indicators, such as poor sanitary infrastructure (lack of latrine/toilet [w = 0.95], sewage to environment [w = 1.0]). Vegetation type was a determinant of infestation [w = 1.0] and vector control program insecticide spraying was a protective factor [w = 1.0]. Of the 754 triatomines analyzed, 11% were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and 2% were infected with T. rangeli. Conclusions/Significance: To date, only limited vector control efforts have been implemented. Together with recent reports of widespread sylvatic triatomine infestation and frequent post-intervention reinfestation, these results show that an estimated 100,000 people living in rural areas of southern Ecuador are at high risk for T. cruzi infection. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic, sustained, and monitored vector control intervention that is coupled with improvement of socio-economic conditions.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe0004142
PublicaciónPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
EstadoPublicada - 6 oct. 2015

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Grijalva et al.


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