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      Risk presented by Copernicia prunifera palm trees in the Rhodnius nasutus distribution in a Chagas disease-endemic area of the Brazilian northeast.

      The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

      Risk Assessment, Animals, Arecaceae, parasitology, Brazil, epidemiology, Chagas Disease, transmission, Endemic Diseases, Humans, Insect Vectors, Rhodnius, growth & development

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          Abstract

          With the aid of live-bait traps, we studied the risk that Copernicia prunifera palm trees, present in both periurban and rural localities of an endemic Brazilian northeast Chagas disease region, represent to domestic infestation by Rhodnius nasutus. In this area, this important vector has been encountered harboring and transmitting Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of the American trypanosomiasis, to mammals, possibly including humans. Results indicate that this bug colonizes C. prunifera palm trees of both regions, mainly in dry seasons, and is infected with high levels of T. cruzi. Although more triatomines were captured in rural areas, proportionally the number of infected bugs from peri-urban regions was much higher. Herein we address the epidemiologic implications and challenge for the Brazilian health authorities to control the disease in this region, where the native palm trees have been largely destroyed causing a severe disturbance in the environmental equilibrium.

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          18981517

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