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Home arrow Economics arrow American Trypanosomiasis Chagas Disease, Second Edition: One Hundred Years of Research


In rural, urban, and periurban areas

Furthermore, the traditional idea of vector transmission is that transmission takes place in rural areas where the habitat is more favorable to infestation by bugs, but in fact, urban areas are not spared. The demographic transition of human populations from rural areas to large urban centers often results in the development of slums as well as disordered occupation of forest remnants, parks, and protected areas, and consequently favorable situations for T. cruzi transmission.72 Chagas disease can also be considered an urban health problem. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, vector transmission persists in periurban areas.73 In the city of Arequipa, Peru, 10 years ago, scientists started to be concerned about the possible emergence of transmission in periurban areas due to the infestation of houses by T. infestans. Today, this problem remains current.74-76 Additionally, T. dimidiata has been found in several cities and towns in Costa Rica77 as well as in Merida, Mexico, where infestation was more related to environmental factors (e.g., location of houses on the outskirts of the city, near abandoned land) than to the quality of the dwelling.78 More surprising, a huge colony of T. infestans was discovered in a hen building for egg production in an urban neighborhood of Greater Buenos Aires.79 T. infestans was found in apartments in an urban neighborhood of the capital city of the province of San Juan, Argentina. Its occurrence was related to the proximity of poor housing areas, and dispersal by flight from this area was assumed to be a main mechanism of infestation.80 Also, a study on triatomines from the Nearctic Region of Mexico reports the domestication of vector species such as T. rubida and T. protracta in urban areas, which was almost unheard of two decades before.81 Indeed, several triatomine species have survived the modification of the landscape and have taken advantage of alternative sources of shelters and food to keep their populations in the new anthropized environments.

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