Insect vectors of Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi) in Northeastern Brazil

Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2018 Mar-Apr;51(2):174-182. doi: 10.1590/0037-8682-0408-2017.


Introduction: Chagas disease remains a public health problem in the rural and urban areas of 19 countries in the Americas.

Methods: The aim of the present study was to investigate the Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate of triatomines collected from both intra- and peridomiciliary areas in eleven municipalities of Southeastern Ceará, Brazil, from 2009 to 2015.

Results: A total of 32,364 triatomine specimens, including nymphs and adults, were collected, and 31,736 (98.06%) of these were examined. More nymphs were collected than adults, and the greatest number of triatomines (n = 8,548) was collected in 2010, for which the infection rate was 1.3%, with the highest rate of infections observed for specimens from Quixere. The species collected during the study were identified as Triatoma pseudomaculata, Triatoma brasiliensis, Panstrongylus megistus, Panstrongylus lutzi, and Rhodnius nasutus, with T. pseudomaculata being the most abundant (n = 19,962).

Conclusions: These results verify the presence of triatomines in both intra- and peridomiciliary areas, thereby ensuring persistence of the pathogen and consequently, the disease, as the presence of infected vectors in households is an important risk factor. According to these findings, the Chagas Disease Control Program should intensify its efforts in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Chagas Disease / transmission
  • Insect Vectors / classification*
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology
  • Panstrongylus / parasitology*
  • Population Density
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhodnius / parasitology*
  • Triatoma / parasitology*