Low probability of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi to humans by domiciliary Triatoma sordida in Bolivia

F. Noireau, F. Brenière, J. Ordoñez, L. Cardozo, W. Morochi, T. Gutierrez, M. F. Bosseno, S. Garcia, F. Vargas, N. Yaksic, J. P. Dujardin, C. Peredo, C. Wisnivesky-Colli

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42 Scopus citations


The role of Triatoma sordida in the domestic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi was assessed in 7 rural localities in Velasco Province, Department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Tri. sordida, the only triatomine species identified in these localities, was found inside 58.0% of houses but not in large numbers (3.1 bugs per infested house on average). A total of 220 faecal samples from domiciliary bugs was examined microscopically and by the polymerase chain reaction for the presence of trypanosomes: 21.4% were infected. Analysis of blood meals of domiciliary Tri. sordida showed that humans were the commonest host (70.4%), followed by chickens and dogs. Four of 418 persons tested were seropositive for Tryp. cruzi. Only 2 of a second group of 62 persons living in dwellings infested by Tri. sordida were seropositive. Tryp. cruzi infection was demonstrated in dogs and domestic rats. Three other species of small mammals were found to be infected with trypanosomes. In our study area, domestic Tri. sordida are mainly incriminated in the transmission of Tryp. cruzi to synanthropic animals, whereas transmission to humans is very rare. The presence in houses of small populations of Tri. sordida infected with Tryp. cruzi is therefore currently insufficient for this insect to constitute a major epidemiological risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-656
Number of pages4
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank M. Medinacelli for logistic support and M. Zegarraf or technicala ssistancein the laboratory.M . Saldias, J. M. Rojas and J. Ortiz from the museum of Natural History Noel Kempff, Santa Cruz, gave invaluable assistance in the field work and identification of rodents. Our special thanks go to J. Johnson and C. J. Schofield for reviewing the manuscript. This study received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Disease (grant no. 940209).


  • American trypanosomiasis
  • Bolivia
  • Chagas disease
  • Transmission
  • Triatoma sordida
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Trypanosomiasis


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