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Human Blood Meals in Sylvatic Triatomines Challenges Domestic-Centered Strategies for Prevention of Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission in Ecuador

Sofia Ocana-MayorgaCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;
Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio;

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Juan J. BustillosCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;

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Anita G. VillacísCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;
Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio;

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Ana L. MoncayoCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;

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Cesar A. YumisevaCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;

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Simone F. BrenièreCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;
INTERTRYP, CIRAD, IRD, University of Montpellier, TA A-17/G, International Campus in Baillarguet, Montpellier, France

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Mario J. GrijalvaCentro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador;
Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio;

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ABSTRACT.

Transmission risk of Chagas disease has been associated with human-vector contacts and triatomines colonizing dwellings, but alternative scenarios, independent of domestic colonization, are poorly documented. In the present work, we estimated the frequency of human blood meals in triatomines from domicile, peridomicile, and sylvatic environments in two endemic regions in Ecuador. Blood meal origins were identified by sequencing a cytb gene fragment. Human blood meals were detected in 42% of the triatomines among 416 analyzed, including 48% of sylvatic triatomines (both adults and nymphs). In triatomines from domicile and peridomicile, Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate was > 20%, and reached 48% in sylvatic triatomines. Human is a common source of blood for triatomines whether they live in or near dwellings in both regions, and the high rate of T. cruzi infection represents an important risk of transmission of Chagas disease. Consequently, control strategies should also take into account possible nondomestic transmission.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Mario J. Grijalva, Ohio University, 333 Irvine Hall, Athens, OH 45701. E-mail: grijalva@ohio.edu

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: This study received support from the UNICEF/UNPD/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) [A20785], Pan American Health Organization [A60655], the National Chagas Control Program—Ecuadorian Ministry of Health, Plan International Ecuador, Children’s Heartlink USA and the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (AI077896-01), Ohio University, and Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) [N13436]. Funding agencies did not play any role on the design of the study or in the data analyses and drafting of the manuscript.

Authors’ addresses: Sofía Ocaña-Mayorga, Anita G. Villac?s, and Mario J. Grijalva, Centro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador, and Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, OH, E-mails: sbocana@puce.edu.ec, agvillacis@puce.edu.ec, and grijalva@ohio.edu. Juan J. Bustillos, Ana L. Moncayo, and César A. Yumiseva, Centro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador, E-mails: juanjobustillos4@gmail.com, amoncayo708@puce.edu.ec, and cayumiseva@puce.edu.ec. Simone F. Breniére, Centro de Investigación para la Salud en América Latina (CISeAL), Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador, and INTERTRYP, CIRAD, IRD, University of Montpellier, TA A-17/G, International Campus in Baillarguet, Montpellier, France, E-mail: frederique.breniere@ird.fr.

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