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16 October 2015 Infection Rate by Trypanosoma cruzi and Biased Vertebrate Host Selection in the Triatoma dimidiata (Hemiptera: Reduvidae) Species Complex
M. J. Ramirez-Sierra, E. Dumonteil
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Chagas disease is a vector-borne disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and transmitted by hematophagous insects. Triatoma dimidiata (Hemiptera: Reduvidae (Latreille 1811)) is one of the main vectors, and recent molecular studies indicate that it is a species complex, with potentially different vectorial competences. We investigated the differences in natural T. cruzi infection rate within T. dimidiata complex in Yucatan, Mexico. ITS-2 hybrid bugs had a twofold higher infection rate than ITS-2 Groups 2 and 3 bugs, and this pattern was consistent over time and in several villages. To test if T. dimidiata ITS-2 hybrid bugs could feed more frequently on T. cruzi-infected hosts, we evaluated their host-seeking behavior in a dual-choice chamber. Group 2 and 3 bugs were equally attracted to T. cruzi-infected or uninfected mice. On the contrary, ITS-2 hybrid bugs reached three times more frequently the T. cruzi-infected mouse, compared to the uninfected one, indicating a significant bias toward an infected host. This behavior may explain in part their higher natural infection rate. Further studies should explore the complex and unique interactions among T. cruzi, triatomines vectors, and mammalian hosts, as this may led to new strategies to interfere with transmission cycles and improve Chagas disease control.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
M. J. Ramirez-Sierra and E. Dumonteil "Infection Rate by Trypanosoma cruzi and Biased Vertebrate Host Selection in the Triatoma dimidiata (Hemiptera: Reduvidae) Species Complex," Journal of Medical Entomology 53(1), 20-25, (16 October 2015).
Received: 28 July 2015; Accepted: 17 September 2015; Published: 16 October 2015

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Chagas disease
feeding behavior
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