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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 1439090, 10 pages
Research Article

Potential Distribution of Chagas Disease Vectors (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) in Colombia, Based on Ecological Niche Modeling

1Red Chagas Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
2Centro de Investigación en Salud para el Trópico (CIST), Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Santa Marta, Colombia
3Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical-Universidad CES, Medellín, Colombia
4Servicios Ecosistémicos y Cambio Climático, Jardín Botánico de Medellín, Medellín, Colombia

Received 23 August 2016; Accepted 6 December 2016

Academic Editor: Shyam Sundar

Copyright © 2016 Gabriel Parra-Henao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ecological niche modeling of Triatominae bugs allow us to establish the local risk of transmission of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. This information could help to guide health authority recommendations on infection monitoring, prevention, and control. In this study, we estimated the geographic distribution of triatomine species in Colombia and identified the relationship between landscape structure and climatic factors influencing their occurrence. A total of 2451 records of 4 triatomine species (Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius pallescens, R. prolixus, and Triatoma maculata) were analyzed. The variables that provided more information to explain the ecologic niche of these vectors were related to precipitation, altitude, and temperature. We found that the species with the broadest potential geographic distribution were P. geniculatus, R. pallescens, and R. prolixus. In general, the models predicted the highest occurrence probability of these vectors in the eastern slope of the Eastern Cordillera, the southern region of the Magdalena valley, and the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.