Department 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
Household distribution of seroreactivity to Trypanosoma cruzi in inhabitants was analyzed in relation to house construction and the distribution of Panstrongylus megistus, the principal domestic vector of Chagas' disease in a rural area in northeast Brazil. No children residing in mud-brick houses were seroreactive to T. cruzi. The highest rates of seroreactivity occurred in residents of unplastered mud-stick houses, and were twice as high as those found in persons living in mud-brick houses or plastered mud-stick houses. Two-thirds of seroreactive children in this area resided in unplastered mud-stick houses. Over 90% of the P. megistus infestations were found in mud-stick houses. Mud-brick houses had the lowest infestation rates of P. megistus and the lowest household rates of seroreactivity to T. cruzi.