PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170172 Full paper
Assessing the risk zones of Chagas’ disease in Chile, in a world marked by global climatic change

Valentina Tapia-Garay1, Daniela P Figueroa2, Ana Maldonado1, Daniel Frías-Laserre3, Christian R Gonzalez3, Alonso Parra4, Lucia Canals5, Werner Apt5, Sergio Alvarado1, Dante Cáceres1, Mauricio Canals1,6,+

1Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Medicina, Escuela de Salud Pública, Programa de Salud Ambiental, Santiago, Chile
2Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Pecuarias, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas Animales, Santiago, Chile
3Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Departamento de Entomología, Santiago, Chile
4Ministerio de Salud, Control de Vectores, Santiago, Chile
5Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Medicina, Laboratorio de Parasitología, Santiago, Chile
6Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Medicina, Santiago, Chile


BACKGROUND Vector transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi appears to be interrupted in Chile; however, data show increasing incidence of Chagas’ disease, raising concerns that there may be a reemerging problem.

OBJECTIVE To estimate the actual risk in a changing world it is necessary to consider the historical vector distribution and correlate this distribution with the presence of cases and climate change.

METHODS Potential distribution models of Triatoma infestans and Chagas disease were performed using Maxent, a machine-learning method.

FINDINGS Climate change appears to play a major role in the reemergence of Chagas’ disease and T. infestans in Chile. The distribution of both T. infestans and Chagas’ disease correlated with maximum temperature, and the precipitation during the driest month. The overlap of Chagas’ disease and T. infestans distribution areas was high. The distribution of T. infestans, under two global change scenarios, showed a minimal reduction tendency in suitable areas.

MAIN CONCLUSION The impact of temperature and precipitation on the distribution of T. infestans, as shown by the models, indicates the need for aggressive control efforts; the current control measures, including T. infestans control campaigns, should be maintained with the same intensity as they have at present, avoiding sylvatic foci, intrusions, and recolonisation of human dwellings.

Financial support: Fondecyt (1150514 to MCL).
+ Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Received 27 April 2017
Accepted 3 August 2017


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