Molecular identification of food sources in triatomines in the Brazilian northeast: roles of goats and rodents in Chagas disease epidemiology
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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 rodent. 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.
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