Low probability of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi to humans by domiciliary Triatoma sordida in Bolivia
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Abstract The role of Triatoma sordida in the domestic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi was assessed in 7 rural localities in Velasco Province, Department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Tri. sordida, the only triatomine species identified in these localities, was found inside 58.0% of houses but not in large numbers (3.1 bugs per infested house on average). A total of 220 faecal samples from domiciliary bugs was examined microscopically and by the polymerase chain reaction for the presence of trypanosomes: 21.4% were infected. Analysis of blood meals of domiciliary Tri. sordida showed that humans were the commonest host (70.4%), followed by chickens and dogs. Four of 418 persons tested were seropositive for Tryp. cruzi. Only 2 of a second group of 62 persons living in dwellings infested by Tri. sordida were seropositive. Tryp. cruzi infection was demonstrated in dogs and domestic rats. Three other species of small mammals were found to be infected with trypanosomes. In our study area, domestic Tri. sordida are mainly incriminated in the transmission of Tryp. cruzi to synanthropic animals, whereas transmission to humans is very rare. The presence in houses of small populations of Tri. sordida infected with Tryp. cruzi is therefore currently insufficient for this insect to constitute a major epidemiological risk factor.