Small mammals trapped in domestic and peridomestic environments of rural Ecuador were screened for trypanosome infection by direct microscopy and hemoculture. Identification of species of trypanosomes was then performed by morphological characteristics and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Of 194 animals collected, 15 were positive for infection (7.73%). Eight (4.12%) were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (1 of 33 Didelphis marsupialis; 7 of 61 Rattus rattus). Eleven R. rattus (18.03%) harbored T. lewisi, 5 of which presented mixed infections with T. cruzi. Additionally, 1 of 3 Oryzomys xanthaeolus was infected with T. rangeli. No trypanosome infection was detected in Philander opossum (n = 1), Mus musculus (n = 79), Rattus norvegicus (n = 8), Akodon orophilus (n = 4), Sigmodon peruanus (n = 3), or Proechimys decumanus (n = 2). Many of the isolates belong to T. cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, and R. rattus had the highest prevalence. Because of its abundance in the study areas, this species is considered an important reservoir for Chagas disease. This is the first report of T. lewisi and T. rangeli in Ecuador. This study is also the first to describe natural mixed infections of T. cruziT. lewisi.

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