Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Donna Rizzo

Second Advisor

Arne Bomblies

Third Advisor

Lori Stevens


Chagas Disease impacts millions of people in South and Central America and yet it remains a mostly unheard of disease outside its area of influence. The Center of Disease Control refers to Chagas Disease as one of the primary “neglected” diseases of the world (CDC, 2013). This parasitic disease is spread primarily through the feces of blood sucking insects of the Triatominae subfamily, also known as “kissing bugs”. When the insect drops its feces, a vertebrate host can transfer the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), into the bloodstream, i.e. via the eyes, mouth, or open wounds, and become infected. In this honors thesis, a susceptible, infected and removed/resistant (SIR) model of disease transmission at the household level was developed. The model is replicated and parameterized with geospatial survey data for all households within a town. In addition, a logistic regression analysis was performed on all the household survey data collected in Guayabo and Chiquimula, Guatemala to identify parameters of importance (p<0.10) to infested houses (i.e. the presence of insects collected in a household and the presence of insect evidence within a household). Eventually the individual household models will be linked for the purpose of modeling the disease transmission between houses at the town scale. The latter will enable better insect and disease control mitigation strategies.


*Appendices available upon request

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.