Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2010, 7(3): 657-673. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2010.7.657.

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Alternative transmission modes for Trypanosoma cruzi

1. Mathematics Department, University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19408, Arlington, TX 76019-0408


The parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas' disease, is typically transmitted through a cycle in which vectors become infected through bloodmeals on infected hosts and then infect other hosts through defecation at the sites of subsequent feedings. The vectors native to the southeastern United States, however, are inefficient at transmitting T. cruzi in this way, which suggests that alternative transmission modes may be responsible for maintaining the established sylvatic infection cycle. Vertical and oral transmission of sylvatic hosts, as well as differential behavior of infected vectors, have been observed anecdotally. This study develops a model which accounts for these alternative modes of transmission, and applies it to transmission between raccoons and the vector Triatoma sanguisuga. Analysis of the system of nonlinear differential equations focuses on endemic prevalence levels and on the infection's basic reproductive number, whose form may account for how a combination of traditionally secondary infection routes can maintain the transmission cycle when the usual primary route becomes ineffective.
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Keywords Trypanosoma cruzi; oral infection; vector infection.; Chagas; vertical infection

Citation: Christopher M. Kribs-Zaleta. Alternative transmission modes for Trypanosoma cruzi . Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2010, 7(3): 657-673. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2010.7.657


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