1921
Volume 92, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Populations of the common bed bug, , have recently undergone explosive growth. Bed bugs share many important traits with triatomine insects, but it remains unclear whether these similarities include the ability to transmit , the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. Here, we show efficient and bidirectional transmission of between hosts and bed bugs in a laboratory environment. Most bed bugs that fed on experimentally infected mice acquired the parasite. A majority of previously uninfected mice became infected after a period of cohabitation with exposed bed bugs. was also transmitted to mice after the feces of infected bed bugs were applied directly to broken host skin. Quantitative bed bug defecation measures were similar to those of important triatomine vectors. Our findings suggest that the common bed bug may be a competent vector of and could pose a risk for vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 04 Aug 2014
  • Accepted : 11 Oct 2014

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