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Elimination of Rhodnius prolixus in Central America

DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-45

Keywords: Chagas disease, American trypanosomiasis, Rhodnius prolixus, vector control, indoor residual spraying, elimination, Central America

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By August 2011, all the previously endemic countries of Central America had been formally certified as free of Chagas disease transmission due to their main domestic vector, Rhodnius prolixus. None of these countries, nor Mexico, has reported the presence of this vector since June 2010, suggesting that R. prolixus may now have been completely eliminated from the mesoamerican region. This is not to say that Chagas disease itself has been eliminated, since there is not only a residue of previously infected cases, but there is also active transmission in some areas due to other vector species - especially Triatoma dimidiata. Nevertheless, the results suggest that the burden of transmission has been substantially reduced. This review summarises the background and progress of the multinational initiative against Chagas disease transmission carried out in the Central American countries (known as IPCA - Iniciativa de los Países de Centro América para la Interrupción de la Transmisión Vectorial, Transfusional y Atención Médica de la Enfermedad de Chagas).Information for the review has come from published scientific articles, reports of national Chagas disease control programmes, reports and presentations of annual meetings of the IPCA initiative, and personal communications. In mapping the historical distribution of R. prolixus (Figure 1) the location of some areas or villages was only approximate - some recent documents offer exact coordinates of infested villages, but most publications prior to the mid-1990s identified localities only by administrative departments or municipalities and for these, geographically centric points were selected.Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) is one of the most efficient vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. It is assumed to have evolved from the ancestral forms of other Rhodniini in or around the Amazon region of South America, becoming highly adapted to domestic and peridomestic habitats


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