Volume 99, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In the Americas, 8 million people are infected with Chagas disease, and an additional 90 million people are at risk for infection. Little is known about the role bats play in the sylvatic transmission cycle of , the parasite causing Chagas disease. Here, we captured bats in the villages of Palmiche, Pachacutec, Nuevo San Martin, and Mayuriaga located in the Datem del Marañon Province in Loreto, Peru. Venous blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture or from the upper extremities, and trypanosomatids were identified by microscopy and molecularly. We collected blood samples from 121 bats on filter paper for molecular studies and 111 slides for microscopic examination of thin and thick blood smears from 16 different bat species. The prevalence of trypanosomatids in all bats species was 34.7% (42/121) and the prevalence of 4.1% (5/121). In hematophagous bat species, the prevalence of trypanosomatids and was 36.9% (27/73) and 2.7% (2/73), respectively. In non-hematophagous bats, the prevalences of trypanosomatids and were 31.2% (15/48) and 6.2% (3/48), respectively. Also, we confirm the presence of in salivary glands of hematophagous bats . These results suggest a sylvatic cycle of trypanosomatid transmission in which bats may harbor infectious parasites that could be transmitted to humans via hematophagous bat bites or salivary contamination by non-hematophagous bats of vegetables consumed by humans.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 19 Oct 2017
  • Accepted : 02 May 2018
  • Published online : 16 Jul 2018

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