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Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas) (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida) in Invertebrate, Reservoir, and Human Hosts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas

J. E. Burkholder, T. C. Allison and V. P. Kelly
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 1980), pp. 305-311
DOI: 10.2307/3280824
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3280824
Page Count: 7
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Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas) (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida) in Invertebrate, Reservoir, and Human Hosts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
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Abstract

Small trypomastigotes, morphologically identical to Trypanosoma cruzi, were observed in the feces of 19 of 84 (22.6%) triatomid insects (Triatoma gerstaekeri and Triatoma sanguisuga) examined in south Texas in 1977 to 1978. In the summer, an estimated 247 Triatoma sp. per hectare occurred in wooded areas of Cameron Co. and 384 per hectare in similar areas of Hidalgo Co., Texas. Trypanosoma cruzi was cultured from or observed in the blood of seven of 30 Neotoma micropus (23.3%) and from possibly, previously unreported rodent hosts: Perognathus hispidus (4 of 25, 16.7%); Liomys irrorattus (1 of 11, 9.0%); Onychomys leucogaster (1 of 9, 11.1%). The sera of 382 other wild and domestic mammals were examined for antibody to T. cruzi by indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA). Fifty-two (13.6%) had positive titers of 1:128 or greater. Indirect hemagglutination assay was performed on 500 randomly selected, local human residents. Twelve (2.4%) positive titers of 1:128 or greater were identified and four of the 12 (0.8%) were confirmed IHA and/or CF (complement fixation) positive by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia. Four of the 12 positive individuals submitted to culture and microscopic examination of follow-up blood samples, all of which were negative. Trypanosoma cruzi incidence in invertebrate (22.6%) and rodent hosts (9.0-23.3%) was similar to previous studies in south Texas, other areas of the USA, and many areas of South America where it is endemic in humans. The apparent occurrence in local humans (2.4%) was higher than similar studies in the USA. These data confirm the presence of T. cruzi in this area and indicate the possibility of human infection.

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