Broad patterns in domestic vector-borne Trypanosoma cruzi transmission dynamics: synanthropic animals and vector control Quantitative analysis of strategies to achieve the 2020 goals for neglected tropical diseases: where are we now?

Jennifer K. Peterson, Sarah M. Bartsch, Bruce Y. Lee, Andrew P. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Chagas disease (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) is the most important neglected tropical disease (NTD) in Latin America, infecting an estimated 5.7 million people in the 21 countries where it is endemic. It is one of the NTDs targeted for control and elimination by the 2020 London Declaration goals, with the first goal being to interrupt intra-domiciliary vector-borne T. cruzi transmission. A key question in domestic T. cruzi transmission is the role that synanthropic animals play in T. cruzi transmission to humans. Here, we ask, (1) do synanthropic animals need to be targeted in Chagas disease prevention policies?, and (2) how does the presence of animals affect the efficacy of vector control? Methods: We developed a simple mathematical model to simulate domestic vector-borne T. cruzi transmission and to specifically examine the interaction between the presence of synanthropic animals and effects of vector control. We used the model to explore how the interactions between triatomine bugs, humans and animals impact the number and proportion of T. cruzi-infected bugs and humans. We then examined how T. cruzi dynamics change when control measures targeting vector abundance are introduced into the system. Results: We found that the presence of synanthropic animals slows the speed of T. cruzi transmission to humans, and increases the sensitivity of T. cruzi transmission dynamics to vector control measures at comparable triatomine carrying capacities. However, T. cruzi transmission is amplified when triatomine carrying capacity increases with the abundance of syntathoropic hosts. Conclusions: Our results suggest that in domestic T. cruzi transmission scenarios where no vector control measures are in place, a reduction in synanthropic animals may slow T. cruzi transmission to humans, but it would not completely eliminate transmission. To reach the 2020 goal of interrupting intra-domiciliary T. cruzi transmission, it is critical to target vector populations. Additionally, where vector control measures are in place, synanthropic animals may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number537
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

Keywords

  • 2020 goals
  • Chagas disease
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Synanthropic animals
  • Triatomine bugs
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Trypanosoma cruzi transmission dynamics
  • Vector control

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