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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 102, No. s1, 2007, pp. 47-55
Bioline Code: oc07134
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 102, No. s1, 2007, pp. 47-55

 en Chagas disease in the Amazon Region
Aguilar, Hugo Marcelo; Abad-Franch, Fernando; Dias, João Carlos Pinto; Junqueira, Angela Cristina Veríssimo & Coura, José Rodrigues


The risk that Chagas disease becomes established as a major endemic threat in Amazonia (the world's largest tropical biome, today inhabited by over 30 million people) relates to a complex set of interacting biological and social determinants. These include intense immigration from endemic areas (possibly introducing parasites and vectors), extensive landscape transformation with uncontrolled deforestation, and the great diversity of wild Trypanosoma cruzi check for this species in other resources reservoir hosts and vectors (25 species in nine genera), which maintain intense sylvatic transmission cycles. Invasion of houses by adventitious vectors (with infection rates > 60%) is common, and focal adaptation of native triatomines to artificial structures has been reported. Both acute (~ 500) and chronic cases of autochthonous human Chagas disease have been documented beyond doubt in the region. Continuous, low-intensity transmission seems to occur throughout the Amazon, and generates a hypoendemic pattern with seropositivity rates of ~ 1-3%. Discrete foci also exist in which transmission is more intense (e.g., in localized outbreaks probably linked to oral transmission) and prevalence rates higher. Early detection-treatment of acute cases is crucial for avoiding further dispersion of endemic transmission of Chagas disease in Amazonia, and will require the involvement of malaria control and primary health care systems. Comprehensive eco-epidemiological research, including prevalence surveys or the characterization of transmission dynamics in different ecological settings, is still needed. The International Initiative for Chagas Disesae Surveillance and Prevention in the Amazon provides the framework for building up the political and scientific cooperation networks required to confront the challenge of preventing Chagas disease in Amazonia.

Chagas disease - Trypanosoma cruzi - epidemiology - surveillance - Amazonia

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