Chagas Disease Ecology in the United States: Recent Advances in Understanding Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission Among Triatomines, Wildlife, and Domestic Animals and a Quantitative Synthesis of Vector-Host Interactions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease present in the Americas, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is transmitted by triatomine kissing bug vectors. Hundreds of vertebrate host species are involved in the ecology of Chagas disease. The sylvatic nature of most triatomines found in the United States accounts for high levels of animal infections but few reports of human infections. This review focuses on triatomine distributions and animal infections in the southern United States. A quantitative synthesis of available US data from triatomine bloodmeal analysis studies shows that dogs, humans, and rodents are key taxa for feeding triatomines. Imperfect and unvalidated diagnostic tools for wildlife complicate the study of animal T. cruzi infections, and integrated vector management approaches are needed to reduce parasite transmission in nature. The diversity of animal species involved in Chagas disease ecology underscores the importance of a One Health approach for disease research and management.

published proceedings

  • Annu Rev Anim Biosci

altmetric score

  • 9.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Busselman, R. E., & Hamer, S. A.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Busselman, Rachel E||Hamer, Sarah A

publication date

  • January 2022