Detection of sylvatic dark morphs of Triatoma infestans in the Bolivian Chaco
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Triatoma infestans, the most important vector of Chagas disease in the southern part of Latin America, is considered to originate from the Cochabamba valley in Bolivia because this is the only region where true sylvatic foci have been confirmed (RA Torrico 1946 An Lab Central Cochabamba 1: 19-23. JP Dujardin et al. 1987 J Med Entomol 24: 40-45, H Bermudez et al. 1993 Am J Trop Med Hyg 49 suppl.: 371). Genetic arguments fully support this assumption (JPDujardin et al. 1997 Med Vet Entomol, in press). Except for this region where sylvatic colonies of T. infestans were found amongst rock-piles associated with wild guinea-pigs (Galea musteloides), T. infestans is said to be confined to domestic and peridomestic habitats throughout its distribution area (RL Usinger et al. 1966 an Rev Entomol 11: 309-330, CJ Schofield 1988 Biosystematics of Haematophagous Insects ed. MW Service 37: 284-312, Clarendon Press, Oxford).