- AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE
Chagas disease is one of the most serious health problems in Latin America. Because the disease is transmitted mainly by triatomine vectors, a three-phase vector control strategy was used to reduce its vector-borne transmission. In Nicaragua, we implemented an indoor insecticide spraying program in five northern departments to reduce house infestation by Triatoma dimidiata. The spraying program was performed in two rounds. After each round, we conducted entomological evaluation to compare the vector infestation level before and after spraying. A total of 66,200 and 44,683 houses were sprayed in the first and second spraying rounds, respectively. The entomological evaluation showed that the proportion of houses infested by T. dimidiata was reduced from 17.0% to 3.0% after the first spraying, which was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). However, the second spraying round did not demonstrate clear effectiveness. Space time analysis revealed that reinfestation of T. dimidiata is more likely to occur in clusters where the pre-spray infestation level is high. Here we discuss how large-scale insecticide spraying is neither effective nor affordable when T. dimidiata is widely distributed at low infestation levels. Further challenges involve research on T. dimidiata reinfestation, diversification of vector control strategies, and implementation of sustainable vector surveillance.
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