Publication Date: 2017.
Background: For several years, the wild populations of Triatoma infestans, main vector of Trypanosoma cruzi causing Chagas disease, have been considered or suspected of being a source of reinfestation of villages. The number of sites reported for the presence of wild T. infestans, often close to human habitats, has greatly increased, but these data are scattered in several publications, and others obtained by our team in Bolivia have not been published yet. Methodology/principal findings: Herein is compiled the largest number of wild sites explored for the presence of T. infestans collected with two methods The standardized methods aimed to determine the relationship between wild T. infestans and the ecoregion, and the directed method help to confirm the presence/absence of triatomines in the ecoregions. Entomological indices were compared between ecoregions and an environmental niche modelling approach, based on bioclimatic variables, was applied. The active search for wild T. infestans in Bolivia suggests a discontinuous distribution from the Andean valleys to the lowlands (Chaco), while the models used suggest a continuous distribution between the two regions and very large areas where wild populations remain to be discovered. The results compile the description of different habitats where these populations were found, and we demonstrate that the environmental niches of wild and domestic populations, defined by climatic variables, are similar but not equivalent, showing that during domestication, T. infestans has conquered new spaces with wider ranges of temperature and precipitation. Conclusions/significance: The great diversity of wild T. infestans habitats and the comparison of their ecological niches with that of domestic populations confirm the behavioural plasticity of the species that increase the possibility of contact with humans. The result of the geographical distribution model of the wild populations calls for more entomological vigilance in the corresponding areas in the Southern Cone countries and in Bolivia. The current presentation is the most comprehensive inventory of wild T. infestans-positive sites that can be used as a reference for further entomological vigilance in inhabited areas.
Author affiliation: Brenière, Simone Frédérique. Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador; Ecuador. INTERTRYP - Cirad; Francia
Author affiliation: Buitrago, Rosio. INTERTRYP - Cirad; Francia. Instituto Nacional de Laboratorios de Salud; Bolivia
Author affiliation: Waleckx, Etienne. Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán; México
Author affiliation: Depickère, Stéphanie. INTERTRYP - Cirad; Francia. Instituto Nacional de Laboratorios de Salud; Bolivia. Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; Bolivia
Author affiliation: Sosa, Victor. INTERTRYP - Cirad; Francia. Gobierno Autónomo Departamental de Santa Cruz. Dirección de Recursos Naturales. Secretaria de Desarrollo Sostenible y Medio Ambiente; Bolivia
Author affiliation: Barnabé, Christian. INTERTRYP - Cirad; Francia
Author affiliation: Gorla, David Eladio. Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales. Instituto de Altos Estudios Espaciales "Mario Gulich"; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas