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Could the bug Triatoma sherlocki be vectoring Chagas disease in small mining communities in Bahia, Brazil?


Carlos Eduardo Almeida, Laboratório de Biodiversidade Entomológica, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Av. Brasil, 4365, Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brasil/Brazil. Tel: + 55-21-2562-1270; Fax: + 55-21-2562-1382; E-mail:


Searches for Chagas disease vectors were performed at the type locality from which Triatoma sherlocki Papa et al. (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) was described in the municipality of Gentio do Ouro, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, and in a small artisan quarry-mining community ∼13 km distant in a remote area of the same municipality. The latter site represents a new locality record for this species. Adults, nymphs and exuviae of T. sherlocki were found in 21% of human dwellings, indicating that the species is in the process of domiciliation. Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in collected bugs was 10.8%. Simple predictive approaches based on environmental similarity were used to identify additional sites likely suitable for this species. The approach successfully predicted an additional five sites for the species in surrounding landscapes. Ecological and entomological indicators were combined to discuss whether this scenario likely represents an isolated case or an emerging public health problem.

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