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US - Growing body of evidence for autochthonous Chagas disease transmission in south Texas

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  • US - Growing body of evidence for autochthonous Chagas disease transmission in south Texas

    One Health Interactions of Chagas Disease Vectors, Canid Hosts, and Human Residents along the Texas-Mexico BorderAbstract

    Background

    Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi infection) is the leading cause of non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy in Latin America. Texas, particularly the southern region, has compounding factors that could contribute to T. cruzi transmission; however, epidemiologic studies are lacking. The aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of T. cruzi in three different mammalian species (coyotes, stray domestic dogs, and humans) and vectors (Triatomaspecies) to understand the burden of Chagas disease among sylvatic, peridomestic, and domestic cycles.

    Methodology/Principal Findings

    To determine prevalence of infection, we tested sera from coyotes, stray domestic dogs housed in public shelters, and residents participating in related research studies and found 8%, 3.8%, and 0.36% positive for T. cruzi, respectively. PCR was used to determine the prevalence of T. cruzi DNA in vectors collected in peridomestic locations in the region, with 56.5% testing positive for the parasite, further confirming risk of transmission in the region.

    Conclusions/Significance

    Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence for autochthonous Chagas disease transmission in south Texas. Considering this region has a population of 1.3 million, and up to 30% of T. cruzi infected individuals developing severe cardiac disease, it is imperative that we identify high risk groups for surveillance and treatment purposes.


    Author Summary

    In this study, we contribute to the growing body of evidence for autochthonous Chagas disease transmission in south Texas along the US-Mexico border. We found that coyotes, shelter dogs, and vectors in this region demonstrated high infection rates of T. cruzi. Random sampling of residents also revealed a higher than expected disease burden that had previously been undiagnosed. With up to 30% of infected individuals developing potentially fatal cardiac disease, it is imperative that we identify and treat patients before irreversible clinical manifestations have occurred. Future prospective studies are necessary to elucidate and validate the disease burden in this area.


    LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

    Author Summary In this study, we contribute to the growing body of evidence for autochthonous Chagas disease transmission in south Texas along the US-Mexico border. We found that coyotes, shelter dogs, and vectors in this region demonstrated high infection rates of T. cruzi. Random sampling of residents also revealed a higher than expected disease burden that had previously been undiagnosed. With up to 30% of infected individuals developing potentially fatal cardiac disease, it is imperative that we identify and treat patients before irreversible clinical manifestations have occurred. Future prospective studies are necessary to elucidate and validate the disease burden in this area.
    “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~
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