Changes in the sexual dimorphism of triatominae in the transition from natural to artificial habitats.
A shift from large to small average sizes was observed in Triatoma infestans and Rhodnius domesticus between field and domestic (or laboratory) conditions of life. It was more pronounced in the female specimens, leading to a subsequent reduction of sexual size dimorphism. This feature is discussed in terms of genetic and populational changes occurring from natural to artificial habitats, in particular those related to population densities. Sexual size dimorphism is then recommended as a new character to be used in the study of species of Triatominae adapting to domestic ecotopes. (+info)
Comparison of some behavioral and physiological feeding parameters of Triatoma infestans Klug, 1834 and Mepraia spinolai Porter, 1934, vectors of Chagas disease in Chile.
There are two vectors of Chagas disease in Chile: Triatoma infestans and Mepraia spinolai. We studied the feeding behavior of these species, looking for differences which could possibly explain the low impact of the latter species on Chagas disease. Both species used thermal cues to locate their feeding source and consumed a similar volume of blood which was inversely related to the body weight before the meal and directly related to the time between meals. The average time between bites were 6.24 and 10.74 days. The average bite of M. spinolai lasted 9.68 min, significantly shorter than the 19.46 min for T. infestans. Furthermore, while T. infestans always defecated on the host, this behavior was observed in M. spinolai in only one case of 27 (3.7%). The delay between the bites and defecation was very long in M. spinolai and short in T. infestans. These differences may affect the reduced efficiency of transmission of Chagas infection by M. spinolai. (+info)
Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation among triatomine vectors of Chagas' disease.
Kissing bugs or triatomines (Reduviidae: Triatominae) are vectors of the Chagas' disease agent Trypanosoma cruzi. There is a current need for more sensitive tools for use in discrimination of different bug populations and species, thus allowing a better understanding of these insects as it relates to disease transmission and control. In a preliminary analysis of the mitochondrial large subunit ribosomal RNA (mtlsurRNA) and cytochrome B (mtCytB) genes, we used DNA sequencing to study species identification and phylogeny. In both examined gene regions, about 46% of nucleotide positions exhibited polymorphism. The examined region of mtCytB appears to have evolved more rapidly than the examined region of mtlsurRNA. Phylogenetic analysis of both gene fragments in the examined species produced similar results that were generally consistent with the accepted taxonomy of the subfamily. The two major tribes, Rhodniini and Triatomini, were supported, along with additional clades that corresponded to accepted species complexes within the Rhodnius and Triatoma genera. The one chief exception was that Psammolestes coreodes sorted into the Rhodnius prolixus-robustus-neglectus clade, with bootsrap values of 99% and 81%, respectively, for the mtlsurRNA and mtCytB fragments. All of the individual species examined could be distinguished at both genetic loci. (+info)
Triatominae as a model of morphological plasticity under ecological pressure.
The use of biochemical and genetic characters to explore species or population relationships has been applied to taxonomic questions since the 60s. In responding to the central question of the evolutionary history of Triatominae, i.e. their monophyletic or polyphyletic origin, two important questions arise (i) to what extent is the morphologically-based classification valid for assessing phylogenetic relationships? and (ii) what are the main mechanisms underlying speciation in Triatominae? Phenetic and genetic studies so far developed suggest that speciation in Triatominae may be a rapid process mainly driven by ecological factors. (+info)
Epidemiology of Chagas disease in Ecuador. A brief review.
Chagas disease is a complex public health problem that has been underestimated in Ecuador. Here we review the relevant published information, and present unpublished and new data that help to understand the current Chagas disease epidemiological situation and its evolution in the country. Three main characteristics have been identified: (i) persistence of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in already known foci; (ii) a marked endemicity in some urban areas of Guayaquil; and (iii) the transformation of new Amazon foci into truly endemic areas. The situation in other suspect areas remains uncertain. Five Triatominae species have been implicated in the transmission of T. cruzi to people in Ecuador (Triatoma dimidiata, Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, R. pictipes, R. robustus and Panstrongylus geniculatus), but some others may also play a role in some areas (P. rufotuberculatus, P. howardi, T. carrioni and P. chinai). Other Triatominae reported seem to have little or no epidemiological relevance (T. venosa, T. dispar, Eratyrus mucronatus, E. cuspidatus, P. lignarius and Cavernicola pilosa). High frequency of acute cases and severe chronic disease has been observed. Although cardiomyopathy is more frequent, serious digestive disease is also present. It is estimated that around 120,000-200,000 people may be infected. 2.2 to 3.8 million people are estimated to live under transmission risk conditions. (+info)
Elimination of vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease.
The control of the vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease in Brazil was organized as a national program in 1975, when two large entomological and sero-epidemiological surveys were conducted in the country in order to identify areas at highest risk of transmission and to guide interventions regarding the chemical treatment of domestic vectors of the disease. The authors present the baseline data gathered through these studies and compare them with more recent data. The evaluation performed shows that the transmission by Triatoma infestans is virtually interrupted and that the transmission by other native species of triatominae from different regions of the country is possibly very low. It is emphasized the need to maintain permanent actions of entomological surveillance in order to prevent recurrent transmission. (+info)
Differences of susceptibility of five triatomine species to pyrethroid insecticides - implications for Chagas disease vector control.
As pyrethroids are presently the favored group of insecticides to control triatomines, we performed a series of bioassays to determine the intrinsic activity of some of the main compounds used in the control campaigns, against five of the main species of triatomines to be controlled. Comparing the insecticides it can be seen that lambdacyhalothrin is more effective than the other three pyrethroids, both considering the LD50 and 99 for all the three species with comparable results. On Triatoma infestans the LD50 of lambdacyhalothrin was followed by that of alfacypermethrin, cyfluthrin and deltamethrin. On Rhodnius prolixus the sequence, in decreasing order of activity, was lambdacyhalothrin, alfacypermethrin, deltamethrin and cyfluthrin. Some modifications can be seen when we compare the LD99, that has more to see to what happens in the field. T. brasiliensis showed to be as sensible to lambdacyhalothrin as T. infestans, the most susceptible for this product. By the other side T. sordida is the least susceptible considering the LD99 of this insecticide. (+info)
Mepraia spinolai in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean coast (Chile) - first insular record and feeding pattern on the Pan de Azucar island.
In a field collection performed at Pan de Azucar Island in Northern Chile, 95 specimens representing all instars of Mepraia spinolai were collected. The intestinal contents of 55 specimens were examined for Trypanosoma cruzi infection and were found to be negative. This is the first record of an insular habitat for M. spinolai, where the insects had fed mainly on seabirds (78%), some on marine mammals (5%), and some on reptiles (7%). (+info)