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Molecular Identification of Food Sources in Triatomines in the Brazilian Northeast: Roles of Goats and Rodents in Chagas Disease Epidemiology

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  • Laboratório de Ecoepidemiologia da doença de Chagas, IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Laboratório de Estudos Integrados em Protozoologia, IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; UMR EGCE (Evolution, Genome, Comportment, Ecologie) Univ-Paris-Sud-CNRS-IRD, IDEEV, Univ-Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France; Université Paris Sud, Orsay, France; Laboratório Ecologia Animal, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Monitoramento Ambiental-PPGEMA, Universidade Federal da Paraíba-UFPB, Campus IV, Rio Tinto, PB, Paraíba, Brazil; Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (UNESP), Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil

We used the gut contents of triatomines collected from rural areas of Ceará State, northeastern Brazil, to identify their putative hosts via vertebrate cytb gene sequencing. Successful direct sequencing was obtained for 48% of insects, comprising 50 Triatoma brasiliensis, 7 Triatoma pseudomaculata, and 1 Rhodnius nasutus. Basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) procedure revealed that domestic animals, such as chickens (Gallus gallus) and goats (Capra hircus), are the main food source, including in sylvatic environment. Native hosts were also detected in peridomestic environment such as reptiles (Tropidurus sp. and Iguana iguana) and the Galea spixii (Rodentia: Caviidae). The role of goats and Galea spixii in Chagas disease epidemiology calls for further studies, because these mammals likely link the sylvatic and domestic Trypanosoma cruzi cycles.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Carlos Eduardo Almeida, Campus Araraquara, UNESP, 14801-902 - Araraquara, SP. E-mail: almeida_ce@hotmail.com

Financial support: This study was funded by varied programs of the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq), as the DCR fellowship, the PROEP/IOC/CNPq programs and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, process numbers 2010/17027-0 and 2011/22378-0).

Authors' addresses: Carolina Valença-Barbosa, Fabiano Araújo Fernandes, Helena Lucia Carneiro Santos, and Otília Sarquis, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, E-mails: carolvalencabarbosa@hotmail.com, fabiano.fernandes@ioc.fiocruz.br, helenalucias@ioc.fiocruz.br, and otiliasarquis@ioc.fiocruz.br. Myriam Harry, CNRS-IRD-UPSud, LEGS-UPR9034, Gif.sur-Yvette, Paris, France, E-mail: myriam.harry@u-psud.fr. Carlos Eduardo Almeida, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas/UNESP, Ciências Biológicas, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: almeida_ce@hotmail.com. Marli Maria Lima, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Laboratório de Eco-epidemiologia da Doença de Chagas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, E-mail: mmlima@ioc.fiocruz.br.

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