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, 92 (1), 187-92

Abundance, Natural Infection With Trypanosomes, and Food Source of an Endemic Species of Triatomine, Panstrongylus Howardi (Neiva 1911), on the Ecuadorian Central Coast

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Abundance, Natural Infection With Trypanosomes, and Food Source of an Endemic Species of Triatomine, Panstrongylus Howardi (Neiva 1911), on the Ecuadorian Central Coast

Anita G Villacís et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg.

Abstract

The elimination of domestic triatomines is the foundation of Chagas disease control. Regional initiatives are eliminating introduced triatomine species. In this scenario, endemic triatomines can occupy the ecological niches left open and become a threat to long-term Chagas disease control efforts. This study determined the abundance, colonization, and Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate of the endemic Panstrongylus howardi in 10 rural communities located in Ecuador's Manabí Province. In total, 518 individuals of P. howardi were collected. Infestation indices of 1.4% and 6.6% were found in the domestic and peridomestic environments, respectively. We determined a T. cruzi infection rate of 53.2% (N = 47) in this species. P. howardi has a high capacity to adapt to different habitats, especially in the peridomicile. This implies a considerable risk of transmission because of the frequency of intradomicile invasion. Therefore, this species needs to be taken into account in Chagas control and surveillance efforts in the region.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Map of Portoviejo County, Manabí Province indicating the location and P. howardi infestation rates of 10 rural communities studied on the central coast of Ecuador. Lines indicate county boundaries. Inset shows Ecuador's political division and study area. BJ, Bejuco; CA, Cruz Alta de Miguelillo; CN, La Ciénega; JM, Jesús María; LE, La Encantada; MB, Maconta Abajo; NG, San Gregorio; PI, Pimpiguasí; QM, Quebrada de Maconta; SG, San Gabriel.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
(A) Female and male P. howardi (endemic species from Manabí Province, Ecuador). (B) Female and male T. dimidiata (introduced species in Manabí and Guayas Provinces in Ecuador). Notice the similarities on dorsal coloration patterns, which could lead to misidentification.

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