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Biomédica

Print version ISSN 0120-4157

Abstract

SERRANO, Olga; MENDOZA, Florencio; BENNY, Suárez  and  SOTO, Ana. Seroepidemiology of Chagas disease in two rural populations in the municipality of Costa de Oro, at Aragua State, northern Venezuela. Biomédica [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.1, pp.108-115. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction. Chagas disease has been a public health problem in Latin America for many years. In Venezuela the disease is mainly distributed in the rural populations and endemic areas with an overall seroprevalence index of 8,3% for the year 2000. Objective. The infection seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi was determined in the human population younger than 16 years. An the entomological index was obtained and the grade of knowledge of the Chagas disease was surveyed in the local inhabitants. Materials and methods. A descriptive cross-sectional field study was performed in two rural communities of the municipality Costa de Oro, State Aragua, Venezuela. Here, T. cruzi-seropositive testing was conducted in subjects younger than 16 years. The samples were processed using indirect hemagglutination and by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). A questionnaire was administered to assess household risk factors, and knowledge about vectors and disease held by the local population. Searches for triatomines were conducted inside of dwellings. Results. Seroprevalence in children less than 16 years old was 1.02%. Sixteen specimens of triatominae adults were captured. The vector species recognized were Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius pictipes, and Eratyrus mucronatus. The index of triatomid infestation with respect to site and house was respectively, 100% and 10.9%. No association was found between the seropositives and the other variables. Of the interviewed individuals, 95% knew that insects transmit diseases, but less than 46% knew that triatominds transmit Chagas disease or were aware of the disease pathology. Conclusion. The discovery of secondary vectors in the area outlines the necessity to carry out epidemiological and entomological studies that associate environmental variables with the habitat of these insects. This will allow the identification of risk factors responsible for the transmission of Chagas disease in this region.

Keywords : Chagas disease [epidemiology]; Trypanosoma cruzi; disease vectors; epidemiologic surveillance; Venezuela.

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