Triatominae vectors of Chagas disease

Published on October 26, 2010   28 min

Other Talks in the Series: Vector-Borne Diseases

This is an introductory lecture about the biology and control of triatomine bugs, the vectors of Chagas disease in Latin America. I am Chris Schofield from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I coordinate the ECLAT network, which was set up to provide technical and research support for the various multinational control initiatives against Chagas disease. This lecture is designed to show the basic biology of triatomine bugs, their importance as vectors of Chagas disease, and the rationale behind the multinational programs against them.
So, here are the bugs. This is Triatoma infestans. This is the main domestic vector species in the southern part of South America. This is just one block from the wall of a house in Chile that has been pulled out and turned over to give an idea of the sheer quantity of bugs that can live in someone's house. These bugs are large. Adults can be up to 2 and 1/2 centimeters long. They're very unpleasant, and they take a lot of blood, contributing to chronic iron deficiency anemia. But they also transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, which is also known as American Trypanosomiasis. No one should have to live with these bugs in their houses.