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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


VEGA, Silvia et al. First case of acute Chagas´disease in Peruvian central jungle: investigation of relatives, vectors, and reservoirs. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2006, vol.23, n.4, pp.288-292. ISSN 1726-4634.

This article is based on a case report that described a six-year old girl who had a confirmed diagnosis of acute Chagas' disease in Pozuzo (Oxapampa- Junín, central Peruvian jungle), a recognized non-endemic area for this condition. An epidemiological study was performed in the patient's household and the surrounding neighborhood. Households visited did not have appropriate conditions for colonization with Triatoma insects. These insects were not found in active searches performed at daytime hours; however, at night time searches, two insects were captured in the patient's home, and seven in the surrounding houses, and they were identified as adult Panstrongylus geniculatus, and two of the bugs were infected with Trypanosoma microorganisms. Every person interviewed identified the vector, and 8/13 of them reported having been bitten by these bugs, locally known as "chirimachas". Clinical and serological examinations looking for T. cruzi reactive among neighbors were negative. We think that knowing that this is a wild vector, its presence in a household is related to the growing extension of agriculture-dedicated areas in the jungle. As wild mammals and birds move towards more rural areas, this leads to changes in the Triatoma insects environment, and they start looking for food within households and sporadically attack human beings, with the consequent risk for T. cruzi transmission.

Keywords : Chagas disease [epidemiology]; Trypanosoma cruzi; Panstrongylus; Peru.

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