Eco-epidemiological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma rangeli and their vector (Rhodnius pallescens) in Panama.
The eco-epidemiology of T. cruzi infection was investigated in the Eastern border of the Panama Canal in Central Panama. Between 1999 and 2000, 1110 triatomines were collected: 1050 triatomines (94.6%) from palm trees, 27 (2.4%) from periurban habitats and 33 (3.0%) inside houses. All specimens were identified as R. pallescens. There was no evidence of vector domiciliation. Salivary glands from 380 R. pallescens revealed a trypanosome natural infection rate of 7.6%, while rectal ampoule content from 373 triatomines was 45%. Isoenzyme profiles on isolated trypanosomes demonstrated that 85.4% (n = 88) were T. cruzi and 14.6% (n = 15) were T. rangeli. Blood meal analysis from 829 R. pallescens demonstrated a zoophilic vector behavior, with opossums as the preferential blood source. Seroprevalence in human samples from both study sites was less than 2%. Our results demonstrate that T. cruzi survives in the area in balanced association with R. pallescens, and with several different species of mammals in their natural niches. However, the area is an imminent risk of infection for its population, consequently it is important to implement a community educational program regarding disease knowledge and control measures. (+info)
Human trypanosome infection and the presence of intradomicile Rhodnius pallescens in the western border of the Panama Canal, Panama.
An entomologic search was carried out to collect intradomicile triatomines in dwellings from rural communities in the western border of the Panama Canal, Panama. Sixty-nine triatomines were collected inside 20 houses of 67 houses investigated. Rhodnius pallescens was the only triatomine species found and included adults of both sexes and nymphs. A significantly high Trypanosoma cruzi (72.7%) and T. rangeli (40%) vector infection rate was detected. Blood meal analysis showed that 68% of R. pallescens had fed on humans. Human serologic analysis and hemoculture performed on inhabitants from triatomine-infested houses showed that 32.1% (18 of 56) of the samples were trypanosome infected. Thirteen samples (23.2%) had antibodies against T. cruzi. Six of these seropositive samples were from children less than 15 years old. Trypanosoma rangeli was isolated in five hemoculture samples, all from children less than 11 years old. The epidemiologic implications of these findings in terms of human infection are discussed. (+info)
Desiccation resistance in four Drosophila species: sex and population effects.
Desiccation resistance and body mass were measured in multiple populations of each of four species of Drosophila: two desert endemic species (D. nigrospiracula and D. mojavensis), and two with more widespread distributions (D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura). While flies from the desert species were more desiccation tolerant, there was, in certain cases, significant variation in desiccation resistance among populations of the same species. A significant difference in desiccation resistance was observed between the sexes, females were more resistant than males, but this relationship was reversed when taking into account body mass differences between the sexes. The degree of observed within-species variability demonstrates that studies focusing upon differences between species can produce different conclusions if they rely on observations for only single populations of a given species. Our data also suggest the existence of multiple mechanisms for desiccation resistance. (+info)
Changes in a tropical forest support metabolic zero-sum dynamics.
Experience with Hong Kong influenza in tropical areas.
Following the introduction of A2/Hong Kong/68 influenza virus into 2 different susceptible populations residing in Thailand and the Panama Canal Zone, epidemic disease occurred within approximately 1 month. The establishment and transmission of the virus, and the disease it caused, were studied in detail. The rates of progression and extent of overt epidemic disease and the proportions of overt to subclinical infection in the 2 areas were different. In Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, only 8% of US servicemen became ill, although 13% of them were infected. The epidemic progressed slowly, so that no more than 1.5% of the population were ill at any one time during the 3 months of its recognized presence. In contrast, in the Canal Zone the clinical attack rate approached 50%, and subclinical infection occurred in 5% or less of the population during a 6-week period when absenteeism from schools and work was quite obvious. Factors such as immunization status of the populations and virulence of virus seemed not to be primarily responsible for the differences. Rather, the latter appear to be related to differences in environmental circumstances, with crowding contributing to the higher disease incidence in the Canal Zone.The data show that this variant A2 virus may produce different epidemiological patterns of disease in tropical areas, similar to those observed in temperate zones. (+info)
Seroepidemiology of heat-labile enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Norwalk virus infections in Panamanians, Canal Zone residents, Apache Indians, and United States Peace Corps volunteers.
Serum antibody titrations against the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) of Escherichia coli were carried out on Panamanians, U.S. citizens resident in the Panama Canal Zone, Apache Indians living on the reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona, and Peace Corps volunteers before they traveled overseas. Antibody titers to Norwalk virus were also carried out on serum from Panamanian and Canal Zone residents. A high prevalence of low-titer LT antibodies was found in infants and adults from Panama, the Canal Zone, and Whiteriver. Panamanian children aged 1 to 5 years had the highest LT antibody titers. Peace Corps volunteers had a low prevalence and titer of LT antibodies. Prevalence and titer of antibodies to Norwalk virus were generally higher in Panamanians compared with Canal Zone residents of the same age. In the populations we studied, various modes of transmission and mechanisms of immunity likely explain the differences which we observed in antibody prevalence and titer to these two enteric pathogens. (+info)