An innovative ecohealth intervention for Chagas disease vector control in Yucatan, Mexico

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Abstract

Background: Non-domiciliated (intrusive) triatomine vectors remain a challenge for the sustainability of Chagas disease vector control as these triatomines are able to transiently (re-)infest houses. One of the bestcharacterized examples is Triatoma dimidiata from the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, where adult insects seasonally infest houses between March and July. Methods: We focused our study on three rural villages in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, in which we performed a situation analysis as a first step before the implementation of an ecohealth (ecosystem approach to health) vector control intervention. Results: The identification of the key determinants affecting the transient invasion of human dwellings by T. dimidiata was performed by exploring associations between bug presence and qualitative and quantitative variables describing the ecological, biological and social context of the communities. We then used a participatory action research approach for implementation and evaluation of a control strategy based on window insect screens to reduce house infestation by T. dimidiata. Conclusions: This ecohealth approach may represent a valuable alternative to vertically-organized insecticide spraying. Further evaluation may confirm that it is sustainable and provides effective control (in the sense of limiting infestation of human dwellings and vector/human contacts) of intrusive triatomines in the region.

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Waleckx, E., Camara-Mejia, J., Ramirez-Sierra, M. J., Cruz-Chan, V., Rosado-Vallado, M., Vazquez-Narvaez, S., … Dumonteil, E. (2014). An innovative ecohealth intervention for Chagas disease vector control in Yucatan, Mexico. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 109(2), 143–149. https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/tru200

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