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Interaction between Didelphis albiventris and Triatoma infestans in relation to Trypanosoma cruzi transmission

DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02761995000600003

Keywords: opossums, triatoma infestans, didelphis albiventris, trypanosoma cruzi, experimental infection, argentina.

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this paper attempts to prove if a high trypanosoma cruzi prevalence of opossums might be reached with few potential infective contacts. one non-infected didelphis albiventris to t. cruzi and 10 infected nymphs of triatoma infestans were left together during 23 hr in a device that simulated a natural opossum burrow. twenty-six replicates were perfomed using marsupials and triatomines only once. potentially infective contacts occurred in all the trials. from the 26 opossums used in trials, 54% did not eat any bug. of the 260 bugs used, 21% were predated. in the 25 trials involving 205 surving bugs, 36 % of them did not feed. in 15/25 cases, maior ou igual a 60% of the triatomines were able to feed. the parasitological follow-up of 24 opossums showed that among 10 that had eaten bugs, 4 turned out infected and among the 14 that had not predate, 3 (21%) became positive. in sum, 7/24 (29%) of the marsupials acquired the infection after the experiment. this infection rate was similar to the prevalences found for the opossum population of santiago del estero, argentina, suggesting that the prevalences observed in the field might be reached if each marsupial would encounter infected bugs just once in its lifetime.


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