BACKGROUND: Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, and humans acquire the parasite by exposure to contaminated feces from hematophagous insect vectors known as triatomines. Triatoma virus (TrV) is the sole viral pathogen of triatomines, and is transmitted among insects through the fecal-oral route and, as it happens with T. cruzi, the infected insects release the virus when defecating during or after blood uptake.
METHODS: In this work, we analysed the occurrence of anti-TrV antibodies in human sera from Chagas disease endemic and non-endemic countries, and developed a mathematical model to estimate the transmission probability of TrV from insects to man, which ranged between 0.00053 and 0.0015.
RESULTS: Our results confirm that people with Chagas disease living in Bolivia, Argentina and Mexico have been exposed to TrV, and that TrV is unable to replicate in human hosts.
CONCLUSIONS: We presented the first experimental evidence of antibodies against TrV structural proteins in human sera.
- Antibodies, Viral
- Chagas Disease
- Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
- Models, Biological
- Seroepidemiologic Studies
- Viral Structural Proteins
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't