We analyzed triatomine blood feeding patterns to evaluate the role of peridomiciles in Trypanosoma cruzi transmission at the rural village of Tepehuaje de Morelos at Jalisco State, Mexico (1999). A total of 206 bugs were collected in 11 out of 26 households (42.3%). Nymphs predominated in the collections (64.9% of the total). Except for one Triatoma barberi female, a species that belongs to the protracta species complex, all adults were Triatoma longipennis, a species of the phyllosoma complex. Triatomines were exclusively present in peridomestic sites mainly piles of tiles and bricks, and none were found indoors. Overall infection rate was 56.6% and no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between nymphs and adults or males and females. Identified blood meals were chicken (29.4%), opossum (20.9%), pig (24.5%), murid (20.9%), dog (3.5%), and armadillo (0.7%). No gut content reacted against anti-human, anti-bovine, anti-rabbit, and anti-cat sera. In contrast to fifth nymphs and adults, 87% of the small nymphs fed on one host, indicating that they are less mobile than other stages. Most fifth nymphs and adults fed on domestic hosts, while small nymphs mainly fed on opossum and murid. Infection blood-meal indexes were around 50% for single meals on opossum and murid, stressing their importance as trypanosome donors. Peridomiciles in Tepehuaje could be regarded as interaction sites among domestic and wild and synanthropic mammals and triatomines, which would facilitate circulation of the same T. cruzi strains between domestic and sylvatic cycles. Stone-made walls and building materials, which hold synanthropic rodents and opossums, should be considered as targets for vector control measures.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6