Latin America: Wild Fleas continue to be problem in some areas, transmitting Chagas Disease

Posted on June 25, 2014 • Filed under: Latin America Health

For 10 years, major fumigation campaigns in the villages have eliminated the fleas that transmit Chagas’ disease in many Latin American countries. But, in several regions, these insects, including those that are the main vector species called Triatoma infestans, persist or are reappearing in human habitat. How can this phenomenon be explained? IRD researchers and their partners have just shown that populations of this species that normally live in nature are recolonizing peridomestic areas.

The study conducted in Bolivia, the country where the infestation rate and prevalence were highest, showed that these wild populations are much more abundant in the environment than previously thought. The researchers jointly reviewed the endemic area historically affected by the disease. They discovered more than 40 infested sites that were previously unidentified, and sometimes where they did not expect to discover wild insects. Read Article

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