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Distribution of triatomine species in domestic and peridomestic environments in central coastal Ecuador

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 2 October 2017 - 9:00pm

by Mario J. Grijalva, Anita G. Villacís, Ana L. Moncayo, Sofia Ocaña-Mayorga, Cesar A. Yumiseva, Esteban G. Baus


Although the central coast of the Ecuador is considered endemic for Chagas disease, few studies have focused on determining the risk of transmission in this region. In this study we describe the triatomine household infestation in Manabí province (Central Coast region), determine the rate of Trypanosoma cruzi infection and study the risk factors associated with infestation by Rhodnius ecuadoriensis.

Methodology/Principal findings

An entomological survey found three triatomine species (Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, Panstrongylus rufotuberculatus and P. howardi) infesting domiciles in 47.4% of the 78 communities visited (total infestation rate of 4.5%). Four percent of domiciles were infested, and nymphs were observed in 77% of those domiciles. The three species were found in altitudes below 500 masl and in all ecological zones except cloud forest. Within the domicile, we found the three species mostly in bedrooms. Rhodnius ecuadoriensis and P. rufotuberculatus were abundant in bird nests, including chicken coops and P. howardi associated with rats in piles of bricks, in the peridomicile. Triatomine infestation was characterized by high rates of colonization, especially in peridomicile. Flagelates infection was detected in only 12% of the samples by microscopy and Trypanosoma cruzi infection in 42% of the examined triatomines by PCR (n = 372). The most important risk factors for house infestation by R. ecuadoriensis were ecological zone (w = 0.99) and presence of chickens (w = 0.96). Determinants of secondary importance were reporting no insecticide applications over the last twelve months (w = 0.86) and dirt floor (w = 0.70). On the other hand, wood as wall material was a protective factor (w = 0.85).


According the results, approximately 571,000 people would be at high risk for T. cruzi infection in Manabí province. A multidisciplinary approximation and the adhesion to a periodic integrated vector management (IVM) program are essential to guarantee sustainable preventive and control strategies for Chagas disease in this region.

A clinical severity scoring system for visceral leishmaniasis in immunocompetent patients in South Sudan

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 2 October 2017 - 9:00pm

by Suzette S. Kämink, Simon M. Collin, Tim Harrison, Francis Gatluak, Abdul Wasay Mullahzada, Koert Ritmeijer


South Sudan is one of the most endemic countries for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), and is frequently affected by large epidemics. In resource-limited settings, clinicians require a simple clinical tool to identify VL patients who are at increased risk of dying, and who need specialised treatment with liposomal amphotericin B and other supportive care. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a clinical severity scoring system based on risk factors for death in VL patients in South Sudan.


A retrospective analysis was conducted of data from a cohort of 6,633 VL patients who were treated in the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Lankien between July 2013 and June 2015. Risk factors for death during treatment were identified using multivariable logistic regression models, and the regression coefficients were used to develop a severity scoring system. Sensitivity and specificity of score cut-offs were assessed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.


In multivariable models, risk factors for death in adult VL patients were: anaemia (odds ratio (OR) 4.46 (95% CI 1.58–12.6) for Hb <6g/dL compared with ≥9g/dL), nutritional status (OR 4.84 (2.09–11.2) for BMI <13 kg/m2 compared with ≥16 kg/m2), weakness (OR 4.20 (1.82–9.73) for collapsed compared with normal weakness), jaundice (OR 3.41 (1.17–9.95)), and oedema/ascites (OR 4.86 (1.67–14.1)). For children and adolescents the risk factors were: age (OR 10.7 (6.3–18.3) for age <2 years compared with 6–18 years), anaemia (OR 7.76 (4.15–14.5) for Hb <6g/dL compared with ≥9g/dL), weakness (OR 3.13 (22.8–105.2) for collapsed compared with normal weakness), and jaundice (OR 12.8 (4.06–40.2)). Severity scoring predictive ability was 74.4% in adults and 83.4% in children and adolescents.


Our evidenced-based severity scoring system demonstrated sufficient predictive ability to be operationalised as a clinical tool for rational allocation of treatment to VL patients at MSF centres in South Sudan.