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National parks attract millions of visitors each year. Park visitors, employees, and pets are at risk of infection with various zoonotic pathogens, including Trypanosoma cruzi, causative agent of Chagas disease. Big Bend National Park is located along the Texas-Mexico border in a region with endemic triatomine insects- vectors of T. cruzi- yet the degree to which the parasite is transmitted in this region is unknown. We collected triatomines for T. cruzi detection and discrete typing unit (DTU) determination, and conducted blood meal analyses to determine recent hosts. As an index of domestic/peridomestic transmission, we tested residential dogs in the Park for exposure to T. cruzi. From 2015-2017, 461 triatomines of three species-Triatoma rubida, T. gerstaeckeri, and T. protracta-were collected in and around the Park. Triatomine encounters peaked in June of each year (44.3% of collections). We detected an overall infection prevalence of 23.1% in adult triatomines (n = 320) and 4.2% in nymph triatomines (n = 24). DTU TcI was the only T. cruzi strain detected. Of 90 triatomines subjected to blood meal analyses, vertebrate host DNA was successfully amplified from 42 (46.7%); blood meal sources included humans, domestic animals, and avian and mammalian wildlife species. Tested dogs were considered positive if reactive on at least two independent serologic assays; we found 28.6% seroprevalence in 14 dogs. These findings reveal interactions between infected triatomines, humans, dogs, and wildlife in and around Big Bend National Park, with potential risk of human disease.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Acta tropica
Triatomine bugs are the vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. Vector control has for decades relied upon insecticide spraying, but insecticide resistance has recently emerged in s...
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The agent of South American trypanosomiasis or CHAGAS DISEASE. Its vertebrate hosts are man and various domestic and wild animals. Insects of several species are vectors.
A genus of the subfamily TRIATOMINAE. Several species are vectors of TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI.
A hemoflagellate parasite affecting domestic and wild animals, as well as humans and invertebrates. Though it induces an immune response, it is non-pathogenic in humans and other vertebrates. It is cross-reactive with TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI and can thus cause false positives for CHAGAS DISEASE.
A genus of cone-nosed bugs of the subfamily TRIATOMINAE. Its species are vectors of TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI.
A subfamily of assassin bugs (REDUVIIDAE) that are obligate blood-suckers of vertebrates. Included are the genera TRIATOMA; RHODNIUS; and PANSTRONGYLUS, which are vectors of TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI, the agent of CHAGAS DISEASE in humans.
Antiretroviral Therapy Clostridium Difficile Ebola HIV & AIDS Infectious Diseases Influenza Malaria Measles Sepsis Swine Flu Tropical Medicine Tuberculosis Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic...
Tropical Medicine is the study of diseases more commonly found in tropical regions than elsewhere. Examples of these diseases are malaria, yellow fever, Chagas disease, Dengue, Helminths, African trypanosomiasis, Leishmaniasis, Leprosy, Lymphatic filaria...
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...