Triatoma infestans is one of the main domestic vectors of Chagas disease. Reports of wild habitat occurrences have recently increased. In Chile, after a successful elimination campaign of T. infestans domestic infestation, a sylvatic focus was reported in bromeliads in the metropolitan region. Here, we report a new focus of sylvatic T. infestans inhabiting rock piles in the Valparaíso region in central Chile. All T. infestans captured were nymphal instars living among the stones, which were inhabited by several mammal species, along with the sylvatic triatomine vector Mepraia spinolai. We found a prevalence of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi of 36.54% in T. infestans, similar to the previous report for sylvatic specimens from bromeliads. Sylvatic populations of T. infestans should be studied at different geographic scales to elucidate their role in the maintenance of the sylvatic transmission cycle of T. cruzi and their possible role in threatening the domestic elimination of this vector. This information should be used to re-design the control programs in Chile to avoid the re-establishment of the domestic cycle.
- Sylvatic chagas disease vectors
- Triatoma infestans
- Trypanosoma cruzi