In 1912, Chagas1 reported finding Trypanosoma cruzi in the hind gut of Triatoma geniculata, which was collected in the burrows of the armadillo (Tatusia novemcincta) in the zone in which American trypanosomiasis is endemic. Following this he found the trypanosomes in the blood of the armadillo, from which he was able to infect guinea-pigs, and these presented all the phenomena of parasitization by Trypanosoma cruzi. Since then the trypanosome has been found in the blood of the armadillo in places far removed from human habitations.
From these findings Chagas concluded that the armadillo is the vertebrate reservior of Trypanosoma cruzi. The trypanosome of the armadillo is carried by Triatoma geniculata, which accidentally frequents human residences, infecting human beings; and the human infection is carried on by Triatoma megista. Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida have also been found infected, and Chagas concluded that several kinds of blood-sucking insects may act
CROWELL BC. TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI CRUZI IN THE TISSUES OF THE ARMADILLO. JAMA. 1923;80(13):910–912. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640400026010
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