Biogeography and Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence of Chagas disease vectors in Texas, USA.
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Data were pooled from multiple sources including newly collected triatomine specimens, preserved specimens, government reports, and scientific articles to create a biogeographical profile of triatomine vector species found in Texas. Triatomine specimens were documented in 97 of 254 counties, and Trypanosoma cruzi-infected specimens were reported from 48 counties. Triatomine specimens were distributed in 11 of the 12 ecoregions in Texas, with all but one species found in multiple ecoregions. Of the 241 newly collected specimens, 50.74% were infected with T. cruzi. Triatoma gerstaeckeri was the most frequently collected and most geographically dispersed species followed by T. sanguisuga. Three species, T. gerstaeckeri, T. sanguisuga, and T. lecticularia, were associated with human dwellings, and over half of the new specimens found inside or near houses were infected with T. cruzi. Chagas disease vectors in Texas are widely distributed and have adapted to ecologically diverse settings. The high T. cruzi infection prevalence of specimens found in close proximity to human settings suggests the presence of an active peridomestic Chagas disease transmission cycle.