Do the new triatomine species pose new challenges or strategies for monitoring Chagas disease? An overview from 1979-2021

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2021 May 31;116:e210015. doi: 10.1590/0074-02760210015. eCollection 2021.


Chagas disease persists as one of the most important, and yet most neglected, diseases in the world, and several changes in its epidemiological aspects have been recorded since its discovery. Currently, some of the most relevant changes are related to: (i) the reduction in the incidence of the endemic due to the control of the most important vectors, Triatoma infestans and Rhodnius prolixus, in many countries; (ii) the migration of human populations spreading cases of the disease throughout the world, from endemic to non-endemic areas, transforming Chagas disease into a global threat; and (iii) new acute cases and deaths caused by oral transmission, especially in the north of Brazil. Despite the reduction in the number of cases, new challenges need to be responded to, including monitoring and control activities aiming to prevent house infestation by the secondary vectors from occurring. In 1979, Lent & Wygodzinsky(1) published the most complete review of the subfamily Triatominae, encompassing 111 recognised species in the taxon. Forty-two years later, 46 new species and one subspecies have been described or revalidated. Here we summarise the new species and contextualise them regarding their ecology, epidemiologic importance, and the obstacles they pose to the control of Chagas disease around the world.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chagas Disease* / epidemiology
  • Chagas Disease* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors
  • Triatoma*
  • Triatominae*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi*