Synanthropic triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae): infestation, colonization, and natural infection by trypanosomatids in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Abstract INTRODUCTION The ecoepidemiological situation in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil is characterized by frequent invasion and colonization of domiciliary units (DUs) by several triatomine species, with high rates of natural infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. METHODS: We evaluated the possibility of vector transmission of T. cruzi based on records of the occurrence of domiciled triatomines collected by the Secretariat of State for Public Health from 2005 to 2015. During this period, 67.7% (113/167) of municipalities conducted at least one active search and 110 recorded the presence of insects in DUs. These activities were more frequent in municipalities considered to have a high and medium-level risk of T. cruzi transmission. RESULTS Of 51,569 captured triatomines, the most common species were Triatoma brasiliensis (47.2%) and T. pseudomaculata (40.2%). Colonies of T. brasiliensis, T. pseudomaculata, T. petrocchiae, Panstrongylus lutzi, and Rhodnius nasutus were also recorded in the intradomicile and peridomicile. Natural infection by trypanosomatids was detected in 1,153 specimens; the highest rate was found in R. nasutus (3.5%), followed by T. brasiliensis (2.5%) and T. pseudomaculata (2.4%). There have been high levels of colonization over the years; however, not all infested DUs have been sprayed. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of intradomicile and peridomicile colonization by P. lutzi. These results demonstrate the risk of new cases of infection by T. cruzi and reinforce the need for continuous entomological surveillance in the State of Rio Grande do Norte.