Trypanosoma Cruzi Infection in Dogs and Cats and Household Seroreactivity to T. Cruzi in a Rural Community in Northeast Brazil

Kenneth E. MottDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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Eduardo A. MotaDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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Italo SherlockDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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Rodney HoffDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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Tacito M. MunizDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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Tome S. OliveiraDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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C. C. DraperDepartment of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Nucleo de Pesquisas da Bahia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of Bahia (UFBa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, Brazil

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The prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi parasitemia as determined by xenodiagnosis on domestic dogs and cats was correlated with household rates of seroreactivity to T. cruzi and household Panstrongylus megistus infestation in a rural area in northeast Brazil where P. megistus was the only domiciliary triatomine vector. T. cruzi infection was present in about 18% of domestic dogs and cats. Two-thirds of seroreactive children below age 10 resided in houses with T. cruzi-infected animals. In houses with a T. cruzi-infected dog or cat, as well as at least one infected P. megistus, the household rate of seroreactivity to T. cruzi was five times greater than in houses with non-infected domestic animals and no infected triatomine vectors. Domestic dogs and cats are important reservoirs of T. cruzi in an endemic area where P. megistus is the only domiciliary triatomine vector.

Author Notes

Dr. Mota was the recipient of an ICOMI-UFBa fellowship during this project.

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