Chagas disease is prevalent in Peru. The province of Nazca, in the southwestern region of the country, shows a high intradomiciliary infestation rate of Triatoma infestans bugs. Although the vector is present, the number of Chagas disease cases appears to be much lower than those reported in the neighboring region of Arequipa. We examined 624 T. infestans from Nazca to determine the current Trypanosoma cruzi infection rates, and found that no bugs were infected with this parasite. These results contrast with those found in Arequipa, where 19-30% triatomines have been reported infected. To compare their vectorial capacity, we infected 30 T. infestans specimens, selected both from Nazca and Arequipa, by feeding bugs on T. cruzi-infected mice. The parasites developed all stages expected in the vector; furthermore, the infective stage, metacyclic trypomastigote, was found in both insect populations from the second week after infection. In addition, those insects that accepted to be fed with mice blood defecated immediately after finishing blood meal, indicating that they might be efficient vectors. We maintain that differences observed in infection rates between vectors from Nazca and Arequipa may be explained by differences in host availability. In Arequipa hosts are mainly small animals, whereas in Nazca the main blood source comes from birds, which are refractory to the infection. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Paredes-Esquivel, C., Lecaros, E., Aguliar-Rosales, M., Acosta, H. S., & Castellanos, P. (2010). Entomological factors affecting the low endemicity of chagas disease in Nazca, Southwestern Peru. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 341-346. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2009.0015