Geospatial Risk Factors of Canine American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas Disease) (42 Cases: 2000-2012). Academic Article uri icon


  • American trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi affects many mammals, including humans and dogs, in all Latin American countries outside the Caribbean and increasingly also in the southern United States. Dogs are considered as reliable sentinels and have been identified as an important risk factor for the disease in humans in endemic countries. Factors that determine American trypanosomiasis in dogs may therefore have public health relevance. Associations of different environmental, locational, and pet owner socioeconomic conditions were evaluated retrospectively as potential risk factors for American trypanosomiasis status in dogs in a case-control study. Laboratory-confirmed cases received at the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital between the years 2000 and 2012 and candidate risk factor variables extracted from publicly available environmental data and 2010 US Census Bureau were used. The sample included 42 dogs serologically positive and 82 dogs serologically negative determined by indirect immunofluorescent assay. The diagnostic titer was 1:160 (case). Univariate logistic regressions followed by stepwise multivariate logistic modeling were used for variable screening and to determine the strengths of variable associations with case status. Total Edge Contrast Index (odds ratio [OR]=3.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.10, 3.62), residing in homes that had rural addresses (OR=2.48, 95% CI 2.43, 2.53), total number of owner occupied housing units in a neighborhood with a householder who is Hispanic or Latino (OR=1.66, 95% CI 1.04, 2.66), and the total number of housing units in a neighborhood that were built on or prior to year 1980 (OR=2.22, 95% CI 1.94, 2.55) were identified as risk factors. Suitable awareness campaigns and future research that considers pet owner housing and socioeconomic circumstances are necessary for effective prevention and control of this disease among dogs.

published proceedings

  • Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Raghavan, R. K., Saunders, A. B., Goodin, D. G., Anderson, G. A., & Harkin, K. R.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Raghavan, Ram K||Saunders, Ashley B||Goodin, Doug G||Anderson, Gary A||Harkin, Kenneth R

publication date

  • January 2015