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De Lima Ferreira L.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | Pereira M.H.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Guarneri A.A.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group

Trypanosoma rangeli infects several triatomine and mammal species in South America. Its transmission is known to occur when a healthy insect feeds on an infected mammal or when an infected insect bites a healthy mammal. In the present study we evaluated the classic way of T. rangeli transmission started by the bite of a single infected triatomine, as well as alternative ways of circulation of this parasite among invertebrate hosts. The number of metacyclic trypomastigotes eliminated from salivary glands during a blood meal was quantified for unfed and recently fed nymphs. The quantification showed that ∼50,000 parasites can be liberated during a single blood meal. The transmission of T. rangeli from mice to R. prolixus was evaluated using infections started through the bite of a single infected nymph. The mice that served as the blood source for single infected nymphs showed a high percentage of infection and efficiently transmitted the infection to new insects. Parasites were recovered by xenodiagnosis in insects fed on mice with infections that lasted approximately four months. Hemolymphagy and co-feeding were tested to evaluate insect-insect T. rangeli transmission. T. rangeli was not transmitted during hemolymphagy. However, insects that had co-fed on mice with infected conspecifics exhibited infection rates of approximately 80%. Surprisingly, 16% of the recipient nymphs became infected when pigeons were used as hosts. Our results show that T. rangeli is efficiently transmitted between the evaluated hosts. Not only are the insect-mouse-insect transmission rates high, but parasites can also be transmitted between insects while co-feeding on a living host. We show for the first time that birds can be part of the T. rangeli transmission cycle as we proved that insect-insect transmission is feasible during a co-feeding on these hosts. © 2015 Ferreira et al. 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. Source

Omondi B.A.,Chemical Ecology Unit | Omondi B.A.,Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research | Latorre-Estivalis J.M.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | Rocha Oliveira I.H.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | And 2 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors

Background: Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) is a robust and accessible method to assay gene expression and to infer gene regulation. Being a chain of procedures, this technique is subject to systematic error due to biological and technical limitations mainly set by the starting material and downstream procedures. Thus, rigorous data normalization is critical to grant reliability and repeatability of gene expression quantification by qRT-PCR. A number of 'housekeeping genes', involved in basic cellular functions, have been commonly used as internal controls for this normalization process. However, these genes could themselves be regulated and must therefore be tested a priori. Methods: We evaluated eight potential reference genes for their stability as internal controls for RT-qPCR studies of olfactory gene expression in the antennae of Rhodnius prolixus, a Chagas disease vector. The set of genes included were: α-tubulin; β-actin; Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; Eukaryotic initiation factor 1A; Glutathione-S-transferase; Serine protease; Succinate dehydrogenase; and Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Five experimental conditions, including changes in age,developmental stage and feeding status were tested in both sexes. Results: We show that the evaluation of candidate reference genes is necessary for each combination of sex, tissue and physiological condition analyzed in order to avoid inconsistent results and conclusions. Although, Normfinder and geNorm software yielded different results between males and females, five genes (SDH, Tub, GAPDH, Act and G6PDH) appeared in the first positions in all rankings obtained. By using gene expression data of a single olfactory coreceptor gene as an example, we demonstrated the extent of changes expected using different internal standards. Conclusions: This work underlines the need for a rigorous selection of internal standards to grant the reliability of normalization processes in qRT-PCR studies. Furthermore, we show that particular physiological or developmental conditions require independent evaluation of a diverse set of potential reference genes. © 2015 Omondi et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

FERREIRA R.C.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | KESSLER R.L.,Instituto Carlos Chagas | LORENZO M.G.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | PAIM R.M.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 4 more authors.

Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is ingested by triatomines during their bloodmeal on an infected mammal. Aiming to investigate the development and differentiation of T. cruzi inside the intestinal tract of Rhodnius prolixus at the beginning of infection we fed insects with cultured epimastigotes and blood trypomastigotes from infected mice to determine the amount of recovered parasites after ingestion. Approximately 20% of the ingested parasites was found in the insect anterior midgut (AM) 3 h after feeding. Interestingly, a significant reduction (80%) in the numbers of trypomastigotes was observed after 24 h of infection suggesting that parasites were killed in the AM. Moreover, few parasites were found in that intestinal portion after 96 h of infection. The evaluation of the numbers of parasites in the posterior midgut (PM) at the same periods showed a reduced parasite load, indicating that parasites were not moving from the AM. Additionally, incubation of blood trypomastigotes with extracts from R. prolixus AMs revealed that components of this tissue could induce significant death of T. cruzi. Finally, we observed that differentiation from trypomastigotes to epimastigotes is not completed in the AM; instead we suggest that trypomastigotes change to intermediary forms before their migration to the PM, where differentiation to epimastigotes takes place. The present work clarifies controversial points concerning T. cruzi development in insect vector, showing that parasite suffers a drastic decrease in population size before epimastigonesis accomplishment in PM. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 Source

Latorre-Estivalis J.M.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | de Oliveira E.S.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | Beiral Esteves B.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | Santos Guimaraes L.,Vector Behavior and Pathogen Interaction Group | And 2 more authors.
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Rhodnius prolixus is a triatomine bug acting as a relevant vector of Chagas disease for which the genome sequence has been recently made available. Based on this information, a set of olfactory (ORs) and ionotropic receptor (IRs) genes potentially related to olfactory processes was characterized, and the expression patterns along bug development and in different structures potentially involved in promoting chemosensory-mediated behaviors were studied. For this, diverse bioinformatic procedures were used to validate gene models analyzing their structural and functional features and designing specific primers. Evolutionary relationships among R. prolixus olfactory coreceptors (RproOrco, RproIR25a, RproIR8a and RproIR76b) and their orthologues from other insects were shown to have mostly good bootstrap support values in phylogenetic trees. Moreover, antennal expression was confirmed for most genes included in the study. Both ORs and IRs showed antennal expression along the whole development of bugs of this species, with few exceptional receptors showing gradually increasing expression or expression restricted to the antennae of adult bugs. Finally, the expression of most of the selected genes was confirmed in other structures, such as rostri, tarsi, tibial pads and genitalia, which are potentially involved in promoting chemosensory-mediated behaviors. These results are discussed in terms of their relevance to advance in the understanding of the molecular bases of triatomine behavior. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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