Laboratory Evaluation and Field Feasibility of Micro-Encapsulated Insecticide Effect on Rhodnius prolixus and Triatoma dimidiata Mortality in Rural Households in Boyacá, Colombia

Insects. 2022 Nov 17;13(11):1061. doi: 10.3390/insects13111061.


Chagas disease is a neglected vector-borne zoonosis caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that is primarily transmitted by insects of the subfamily Triatominae. Although control efforts targeting domestic infestations of Rhodnius prolixus have been largely successful, with several regions in Boyacá department certified free of T. cruzi transmission by intradomicile R. prolixus, novel native species are emerging, increasing the risk of disease. Triatoma dimidiata is the second most important species in Colombia, and conventional control methods seem to be less effective. In this study we evaluated the efficacy and usefulness of micro-encapsulated insecticide paints in laboratory conditions and its applicability in rural communities to avoid triatomine domiciliation. Laboratory conditions measured mortality at 6 months and 12 months, with an average mortality between 93-100% for T. dimidiata and 100% for R. prolixus. Evaluation of triatomine infestation in rural households was measured after one year, with an overall perception of effectiveness in reducing household domiciliation. Although triatomines were still spotted inside and around the homes, our findings demonstrate the ability of micro-encapsulated insecticide to prevent colonization inside the households when comparing infestation rates from previous years. Current control measures suggest insecticide spraying every six months, which implies great economic cost and logistical effort. Complementary triatomine control measures with insecticide spraying and micro-encapsulated insecticide paint would make public health efforts more efficient and reduce the frequency of treatment.

Keywords: Chagas disease; Rhodnius prolixus; Triatoma dimidiata; micro-encapsulated insecticide; vector control.