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Social, Entomological, and Clinical Factors Influencing the Transmission and Prevention of Chagas' Disease in Rural Andean Ecuador

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Title: Social, Entomological, and Clinical Factors Influencing the Transmission and Prevention of Chagas' Disease in Rural Andean Ecuador
Authors: Baum, Paige
Instructor: Gon, Sheri
Issue Date: 10 Dec 2011
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Few studies have been conducted on the relationship between social factors and prevention strategies associated with Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in the Andes. In this six component interdisciplinary investigation a cross-sectional, descriptive study was performed in order to: estimate prevalence using entomological and serological evidence, estimate seroprevalence in order to assess risk of congenital transmission and chronic disease, and, guided by medical anthropology, identify social factors that influence perceptions and attitudes towards Chagas’ disease in rural Andean Ecuador. Information was gathered, as part of an ongoing longitudinal study by Ohio University’s Tropical disease institute, via domestic and peridomestic searches, testing for serological evidence of infection, participant observation, interviews and focus groups. The participants of this study were faculty and students from Ohio University’s Tropical Disease Institute Summer Research Program, faculty and students from Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador, trained field workers of Servicio Nacional de Enfermedades Transmitidas por Vectores Artrópodos, members of thirteen rural communities in Loja Province, patients of the maternity ward and cardiac wing of San Isidro Ayora Hospital. In total, the data from 354 houses, 949 subjects in community, ~200 expectant mothers, 120 cardiac patients, 8 interviews, 6 focus groups and 45 heads of household was included. Through entomological surveying an infestation index of 13.5% was found. A 1.4% seroprevalence of antigens associated with Chagas’ infection was found through serological screening of rural community members. In the mothers tested, a 1% seropositivity was estimated. Of the cardiac patients tested, 2.5% of the tests from subjects were seropositive. Health, social and physical living conditions, education, economy and security were some of the predominant topics of concern revealed in participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. In conclusion, prevalence and identification of risk and social factors in Ecuador influence the transmission dynamics of T. cruzi. An understanding of these factors and their relation to T. cruzi transmission is crucial for improving the control of vector transmission of Chagas’ disease.
Pages/Duration: 49 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Anthropology

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