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INCIDENCE OF TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI INFECTION AMONG CHILDREN FOLLOWING DOMESTIC REINFESTATION AFTER INSECTICIDE SPRAYING IN RURAL NORTHWESTERN ARGENTINA

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  • 1 Laboratorio de Eco-Epidemiología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto Nacional de Parasitología Dr. Mario Fatala Chaben, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Centro de Estudios Epidemiológicos, Academia Nacional de Medicina, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Laboratory of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities, New York, New York

Following increasing reinfestation with Triatoma infestans after insecticide spraying, the household incidence of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi in children was positively related to the domestic abundance of infected T. infestans and the presence or proportion of infected dogs or cats in Amamá, a rural village in northwestern Argentina. Seven (12.1%) children seronegative for antibodies to T. cruzi at baseline, with no history of travel or blood transfusion, seroconverted after three years. Six incident cases lived in houses heavily infested with T. infestans, with high proportions of bugs infected with T. cruzi and having fed on humans or dogs. The remaining incident case occurred under a very light domestic infestation detected only at the endpoint, and most bugs had fed on humans. Dogs had a 17 times greater force of infection than children (4.3% per year). Sustained vector surveillance is crucially needed in high-risk areas for Chagas disease such as the Gran Chaco.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Ricardo Esteban Gürtler, Laboratorio de Eco-Epidemiología, Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA, Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mail: gurtler@bg.fcen.uba.ar.
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