Navigation Links
Dogs may help collar Chagas disease
Date:7/12/2010

Chagas disease, for example, is caused by a parasite that roams with only limited control among the rural poor in Latin America. The main vector for the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the triatomine insect, or "kissing bug," which thrives in the nooks and crannies of mud-brick dwellings. The bug sucks the blood of mammals, helping T. cruzi move between wildlife, cats, dogs and humans.

"Dogs tend to lie on porches or other areas easily accessible to the bugs," says disease ecologist Uriel Kitron, chair of environmental studies at Emory University. "And when a dog is malnourished and its immune system isn't great, they are even more at risk."

Kitron has been researching Chagas disease in remote communities of northern Argentina for the past 10 years. "One of our most significant findings is the importance of dogs in both the spread of the disease, and the potential to help control it," he says, explaining that dogs can make good sentinels for health officials monitoring T. cruzi transmission.

Chagas disease begins as an acute infection that can subside on its own. In one out of three cases, however, the infection persists and can go unnoticed for decades, until it causes complications such as heart failure, digestive problems and sudden cardiac death. The condition affects 10 to 12 million people in Latin America, killing more than 15,000 a year.

Human migration has moved Chagas disease around the globe: U.S. blood banks must now screen donors for T. cruzi. And bugs travel hidden in people's luggage to new places such as Patagonia in southern Argentina.

Kitron is collaborating with Ricardo Grtler of the University of Buenos Aires on a research project funded through a joint NIH-NSF program on the ecology of infectious diseases. Their work in Argentina's Chaco province is included in a June 24 special supplement of Nature, devoted to the topic of Chagas disease.

"We are interested in answering scientific questions, but we also want to help reduce the risk and the impact of the disease on the rural population," Kitron says.

Few government resources make it to the rural poor, and the main control for Chagas disease is spraying insecticide. "It's a limited strategy," Kitron says. "If you want to control Chagas disease, you have to look at the whole picture."

The researchers have shown, for example, that people with fewer than two dogs in a household are unlikely to become infected. It turns out that dogs are 14 times more effective at spreading Chagas disease than humans.

"Many of the dogs are not in good shape, they're exposed to a whole bunch of parasites and worms and they just get scraps to eat," Kitron says. "But the idea of just eliminating the dogs is not an option. People really care about their dogs."

An alternative may be to identify dogs that are most at risk of remaining infectious for a long period of time. These "super spreaders" could be targeted with insecticide collars. Research is also ongoing for a vaccine against T. cruzi in mongrel dogs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beverly Clark
beverly.clark@emory.edu
404-712-8780
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease
2. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
3. Bowel disease link to blood clots
4. Womens Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking
5. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
6. New Study Uses Adult Stem Cells in Effort to Save Limbs of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease
7. Patients with Lethal Lung Disease Finally Receive Recognition by Social Security Administration
8. Alzheimers Foundation of America Applauds Social Security for Speeding Disability Benefits for Early-Onset Alzheimers Disease
9. New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
10. Hypnosis can relieve symptoms in children with respiratory diseases
11. IU research team discovers TB disease mechanism and molecule to block it
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... N.Y (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori ... became a member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs ... changing laws and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that ... insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment ... family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together some of ... their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was livestreamed with ... 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer ... one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. ... descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked ... those with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in ... Essex, England commented, "I had ... no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement ... [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017  ValGenesis Inc., ... Solutions (VLMS), is pleased to announce the appointment ... member of its Board of Directors and Chairman ... VLMS enables life science companies to manage their ... use of paper in this process. Furthermore, ValGenesis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: