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de Lima J.S.,Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul | Rocha F.L.,Federal University of Paraiba | Rocha F.L.,Laboratorio Of Biologia Of Tripanosomatideos | Alves F.M.,Laboratorio Of Biologia Of Tripanosomatideos | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2015

The coati (Nasua nasua, Carnivora) is a medium-sized mammal common in the Pantanal of Brazil. Unlike most mammals, coatis construct arboreal nests used for resting and reproduction. In this region, the coati is an important host of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. There are two possible routes through coatis can be infected by T. cruzi: the oral route or the vectorial route. However, the relative importance of each of these routes in the infection of coatis and its role in the sylvatic cycle of the parasite are unknown. Our objectives were to investigate: (i) whether coati nests were infested by triatomine bugs, (ii) what species were frequent in the nests, (iii) whether the triatomines in nests were infected by T. cruzi, and (iv) what were the food resources of these triatomines. Eight of the 24 nests sampled were infested with triatomines, a total of 37 specimens of at least two species (Rhodnius stali and Triatoma sordida). In one nest, R. stali and T. sordida co-occurred and both fed on multiple resources, including coatis. This is the first report of triatomines occurring in arboreal nests of coatis. The co-occurrence of two different genera of triatomine vectors and coatis within the limited space of the coati nests provide multiple opportunities for the exchange of the protozoan parasite through both the vectorial and oral transmission routes. © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology. Source

Alvarenga E.S.L.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Mansur J.F.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Justi S.A.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Justi S.A.,Laboratorio Nacional E Internacional Of Referencia Em Taxonomia Of Triatomineos | And 10 more authors.
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2016

Chitin is an essential component of the peritrophic matrix (PM), which is a structure that lines the insect's gut and protects against mechanical damage and pathogens. Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) does not have a PM, but it has an analogous structure, the perimicrovillar membrane (PMM); chitin has not been described in this structure. Here, we show that chitin is present in the R. prolixus midgut using several techniques. The FTIR spectrum of the KOH-resistant putative chitin-material extracted from the midgut bolus showed peaks characteristic of the chitin molecule at 3500, 1675 and 1085 cm1. Both the midgut bolus material and the standard chitin NMR spectra showed a peak at 1.88 ppm, which is certainly due to methyl protons in the acetamide a group. The percentages of radioactive N-acetylglucosamine (CPM) incorporated were 2 and 4% for the entire intestine and bolus, respectively. The KOH-resistant putative chitin-material was also extracted and purified from the N-acetylglucosamine radioactive bolus, and the radioactivity was estimated through liquid scintillation. The intestinal CHS cDNA translated sequence was the same as previously described for the R. prolixus cuticle and ovaries. Phenotypic alterations were observed in the midgut of females with a silenced CHS gene after a blood meal, such as retarded blood meal digestion; the presence of fresh blood that remained red nine days after the blood meal; and reduced trachea and hemozoin content compared with the control. Wheat germ agglutinin (specific probe that detects chitin) labeling proximal to the intestine (crop and midgut) was much lower in females with a silenced CHS gene, especially in the midgut region, where almost no fluorescence signal was detected compared with the control groups. Midguts from females with a CHS gene silenced by dsRNA-CHS and control midguts pre-treated with chitinase showed that the chitin-derived fluorescence signal decreased in the region around the epithelium, the region facing the midgut and projections towards the intestinal lumen when evaluated microscopically. The relative reduction in CHS transcripts by approximately 80% using an RNAi assay supports the phenotypical alterations in the midgut observed using fluorescence microscopy assays. These data show that chitin is present in the R. prolixus midgut epithelium and in its surface projections facing the lumen. The CHS gene expression and the presence of chitin in the R. prolixus midgut may suggest a target for controlling Chagas disease vectors and addressing this public health problem. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Dos Santos Silva J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Dos Santos Silva J.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Alencar J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Costa J.M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2012

Feeding patterns of mosquitoes in six Brazilian environmental preservation areas were analyzed by the precipitin technique. The mosquito populations were captured using Shannon traps during different time periods. Bird, cow, dog, horse, opossum, human, and rodent antisera diagnostic tests were employed and results were analyzed by calculating the Sørensen similarity index and using the null-model test. Of the 647 analyzed specimens, 443 reacted to the utilized antisera, of which 331 reacted to one blood source, with the most frequent being birds (49.4%); and 112 specimens reacted to two blood sources, with the most frequent combination from birds + rodents (14.3%). The feed profiles demonstrated that Anopheles albitarsis, An. evansae, Aedes fulvus, Psorophora albigenu, Ps. albipes, Ps. ferox, and Mansonia titillans fed predominantly on birds. The similarity index showed that in some localities An. cruzii, Chagasia fajardi, Ae. scapularis, Ae. serratus, Haemagogus leucocelaenus, Ps. albigenu, and Ps. ferox presented similar dietary habits. The null-models test indicated that species from SMSP, INP, CGNP, and THP demonstrated an aggregate pattern, while species from SONP and SBNP showed a random pattern. The mosquitoes fed predominantly on birds, but from an epidemiological standpoint, the eclectic feeding habits were found to be constant among the mosquitoes analyzed. © 2012 The Society for Vector Ecology. Source

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