Extinction of experimental Triatoma infestans populations following continuous exposure to dogs wearing deltamethrin-treated collars
Dogs are domestic reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. We evaluated the effect of deltamethrin-treated dog collars (DTDCs) over time on the population dynamics of Triatoma infestans, a main T. cruzi vector. Forty founder bugs of mixed life stages were allowed to colonize mud-thatched experimental huts and exposed continuously to either uncollared control dogs (N = 3) or dogs wearing DTDCs (N = 7) for a period of up to 196 days. When compared with bugs exposed to control dogs, bugs exposed to collared dogs were shown to have reduced feeding success (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26-0.63; P < 0.001) and lower survival (OR = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.08-0.29; P < 0.001); in fact, all of the bug populations exposed to collared dogs became extinct 77-196 days after study initiation. Bugs exposed to DTDC-wearing dogs were also shown to have a lower fecundity (i.e., number of eggs produced per live female bug: OR = 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51-0.81; P < 0.001) and molting rate to first-instar nymphs (OR = 0.32; 95% CI, 0.13-0.75; P < 0.01) than those bugs exposed to control dogs. DTDCs could represent a novel tool to prevent and control canine and (hence) human Chagas disease.