Chagas' disease in Mexico: Factors, Surveillance, and Recommendations

Snejana Odagiu, Jonathan D. Mayer


The purposes of this paper is first, to analyze and discuss the key factors influencing the geographical patterns of Chagas disease in Mexico including poverty and housing conditions, and to explore the potential for One Health approach in surveillance and control strategies of this disease in Mexico. A literature review method was applied using databases like PubMed, World Cat, EBSCO, Elsevier, and WHO to find articles containing key words such as Chagas disease, risk factors, Mexico, surveillance, diagnosis, triatomine, Trypanosoma cruzi, One Health, and climate change. In addition, CDC, WHO, and other gray literature documents from 2004 to 2015 were used for up-to-date statistics. The following risk factors were identified for Chagas disease in Mexico: health politics, the existence of domestic animals, poverty and poor hosing conditions, presence of vector population - the triatomine bugs, people’s migration from rural to urban settings and from Mexico to other countries, and lack of screening for Chagas’ disease among pregnant women and blood and organ donors. Also, climate change is considered a potential risk factor for the increasing distribution of triatomine bugs beyond the Mexican borders onto the U.S.A. territory. Understanding the risk factors may help design interventions meant to reduce the burden of disease among the affected communities. Surveillance and control of human health in isolation from environmental conditions such as housing and animal health that co-habituate with human population is not efficient and sustainable. Thus, the One Health approach is suggested for improved surveillance and control strategies. Also, community-based surveillance system integrated into the primary care services has the potential to become a successful intervention for vector control once improved.


Chagas’ disease; Mexico; surveillance; risk factors; One Health

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