Vector control for Chagas disease

Chagas disease exists only on the American continent. Poor people in rural areas are affected most. Their low-quality houses provide a haven for the triatomine bugs that transmit the disease. In the early 1980s, it was recognized that the only feasible way of controlling Chagas disease would be through attacking the triatomine vector.

Canisters, which release pyrethoid insecticidal fumes when lit, were developed for use by householders. Insecticidal paints for use by spray teams were also developed.

In 1991, fumigant canisters were used in the Initiative for the Elimination of Chagas Disease by Southern Cone Countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). By 2001, disease transmission had been halted in Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.

Partners (fumigant canisters)
* Ministry of Health
* National Research Council, Argentina
* Chemotechnica, SA, Argentina


TDR played a crucial role in helping to mobilize resources at the global level and in linking researchers and coordinating activities. TDR:

  • Established a network of national institutions working in collaboration with government control programmes
  • Organized and part-funded multi-country studies of canisters and insecticidal paints
  • Helped establish a standard protocol to evaluate multi-country studies.