Flight activity and invasion of houses by Triatoma sordida and T. guasayana were studied in the Province of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Spontaneous findings of both species in houses were recorded from 1982 to 1989. Light trap collections were performed in 1982, 1983 and 1984, at the woods surrounding the settlements of Amamá (43 houses) and Trinidad (19 houses). Most of the 101 triatomines collected, were unfed and negative for Trypanosoma cruzi. T. guasayana predominated over T. sordida, and both appeared on the lighted screens between 19-31 min (mean 24) after dusk and the catch time was 30-45 min. Although entomological evaluation of 41 houses at Amamá performed in September 1985, just before insecticidal spraying, showed that Triatoma infestans predominated, adults of T. guasayana were collected in sleeping places, in 7 houses (17%). Most triatomines invading houses from then up to 1990 were flying T. guasayana (20/27) and females outnumbered males. Three non-infected T. guasayana females were fed on man and two T. guasayana males positive for "T. cruzi like" trypanosomes were unfed. Therefore, visiting hungry adults could transmit T. cruzi to people and introduce wild parasites to the domestic cycle. T. guasayana stands as the main potential substitute of T. infestans in the studied area, and it might play there the same role as T. sordida in Brazil.
Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals of the quebracho woods of the eastern part of Santiago del Estero province, Argentina, was studied from October 1984 to December 1987. 301 mammals of 20 different species were caught. T. cruzi, characterized biologically and biochemically, was isolated by xenodiagnosis from 23 of 72 (32%) Didelphis albiventris opposums, 2/36 (5.5%) Conepatus chinga skunks, and one ferret (Galictis cuja). 53 opossum refuges were located and triatomine bugs were found in 2 of them: one male Triatoma infestans, infected with T. cruzi, and 5 uninfected nymphs of T. sordida, had all fed on opossum blood. Electrophoretic zymogram patterns of the T. cruzi populations isolated from opossums and skunks were similar to isoenzyme profiles already described for populations isolated from infected humans in Argentina. The small number of triatomines found in the opossum refuges seems inadequate to account for the prevalence of T. cruzi infection recorded for these mammals, so other possible contaminative routes of infection should be investigated.
We analyzed triatomine blood feeding patterns to evaluate the role of peridomiciles in Trypanosoma cruzi transmission at the rural village of Tepehuaje de Morelos at Jalisco State, Mexico (1999). A total of 206 bugs were collected in 11 out of 26 households (42.3%). Nymphs predominated in the collections (64.9% of the total). Except for one Triatoma barberi female, a species that belongs to the protracta species complex, all adults were Triatoma longipennis, a species of the phyllosoma complex. Triatomines were exclusively present in peridomestic sites mainly piles of tiles and bricks, and none were found indoors. Overall infection rate was 56.6% and no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between nymphs and adults or males and females. Identified blood meals were chicken (29.4%), opossum (20.9%), pig (24.5%), murid (20.9%), dog (3.5%), and armadillo (0.7%). No gut content reacted against anti-human, anti-bovine, anti-rabbit, and anti-cat sera. In contrast to fifth nymphs and adults, 87% of the small nymphs fed on one host, indicating that they are less mobile than other stages. Most fifth nymphs and adults fed on domestic hosts, while small nymphs mainly fed on opossum and murid. Infection blood-meal indexes were around 50% for single meals on opossum and murid, stressing their importance as trypanosome donors. Peridomiciles in Tepehuaje could be regarded as interaction sites among domestic and wild and synanthropic mammals and triatomines, which would facilitate circulation of the same T. cruzi strains between domestic and sylvatic cycles. Stone-made walls and building materials, which hold synanthropic rodents and opossums, should be considered as targets for vector control measures.
Sylvatic triatomines might use the peridomicile as a 1st step in the process of domiciliation. Therefore, we evaluated the capability of sylvatic species to colonize the peridomicile of a rural area in the Province of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. The research was carried out in 6 houses in the village of Trinidad. The person per hour capture method was employed to determine the presence of triatomines in all the buildings (n = 44). Dispersing adults were collected by means of light traps and by villagers when approaching their houses. Triatoma infestans (Klug) was the most abundant species followed by the sylvatic Triatoma guasayana Wygodzinsky & Abalos. The branch pens, which included cacti, Opuntia quimilo, and bromeliads in their structure, were significantly associated with T. guasayana. Most of these insects had fed on domestic blood sources. With the exception of 1 Triatoma sordida (Stål), dispersing adults were T. guasayana; among those approaching houses, 12 were females (2 of which were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas) and 3 were males. T. guasayana was found to be capable of intensively invading the intradomicile and the peridomicile, showing a high tendency to settle in the ecotopes which included nontransformed raw material from the wild and where T. infestans was less abundant.
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