Environmental determinants of the distribution of Chagas disease vectors in south-eastern Guatemala

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Dulce Maria Bustamante *
Maria Carlota Monroy
Antonieta Guadalupe Rodas
Jaime Abraham Juarez
John B. Malone
(*) Corresponding Author:
Dulce Maria Bustamante | dbusta1@ufl.edu


The associations between the presence of triatomines and environmental variables were studied using correlation analysis and logistic regression models for a sample of villages in the south-eastern provinces of Guatemala. Information on the presence of Triatoma dimidiata, T. nitida and Rhodnius prolixus came from entomological surveys carried out by the Ministry of Health of Guatemala as part of its vector control programme. Environmental information for each village was extracted from digital thematic maps developed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The presence of T. nitida was found to be significantly associated with the average minimum temperature. The odds of presence of T. nitida in a village decreased as the average minimum temperature increased. T. nitida exists at altitudes above 1000 m above sea level in temperate regions. The presence of R. prolixus showed a significant positive association with maximum absolute temperature and relative humidity. The logistic regression model for R. prolixus showed a good fit and predicted suitable habitats in the provinces of Chiquimula, Zacapa and Jalapa, which agrees with the known distribution of the species. Habitat partitioning between R. prolixus and T. dimidiata is suggested by their significant and opposite associations with maximum absolute temperature. Improved models to predict suitable habitats for T. dimidiata hold promise for spatial targeting of integrated vector management.

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