Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Feria-Arroyo

Second Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry

Third Advisor

Dr. Tamer Oraby


Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, kills thousands of people annually and is the dominant cause of infectious myocarditis worldwide. Kissing bugs are vectors that carry T. cruzi . and are found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV). There is no vaccination nor cure for Chagas. The best mechanism of prevention is to control vector infestations. Little research is available regarding the level of understanding local communities have about Chagas.

Our goal was to test the knowledge of several communities in the LRGV on Chagas disease. Our hypothesis states that local communities do not have sufficient knowledge and resources concerning Chagas. Surveys were administered throughout the LRGV from January to June and were analyzed. Results confirmed 85% of participants had no knowledge of the disease; moreover, participants that had knowledge were college educated. Educational programs regarding prevention are key to reducing the transmission and spread of Chagas.


Copyright 2018 Adam Dennis Wiejaczka. All Rights Reserved.