Trypanosoma cruzi infection in triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) from rural areas of the state of Pará, Brazil.
The present study aimed to identify the triatomine species and evaluate Trypanosoma cruzi infection in insects captured in endemic areas of Pará State, Brazil. Triatomines were captured in nine rural communities in the municipality of São Domingos do Capim in August, September and December 2014 using active searches and Malaise and Noireau traps. Additionally, from 2014 to 2018, residents and community health agents submitted captured triatomines to the study team. The analysis of T. cruzi infection in the insects was performed by direct parasitological examination and nested-PCR. A total of 225 triatomines were captured and identified: Rhodnius robustus (n = 111), Rhodnius pictipes (n = 54), Panstrongylus geniculatus (n = 44), Eratyrus mucronatus (n = 11), Panstrongylus lignarius (n = 4), and Panstrongylus rufotuberculatus (n = 1). Direct parasitological examination was performed in 27 living triatomines R. robustus (n = 14), P. geniculatus (n = 7) and R. pictipes (n = 6) and metacyclic trypomastigote forms similar to those of T. cruzi were observed in 66.6% (18/27) samples. Of 174 samples analysed by nested-PCR, 81.6% were positive for T. cruzi DNA: R. robustus (84.7%; 72/85), R. pictipes (84.1%; 37/44), P. geniculatus (69.4%; 25/36), P. lignarius (100%; 4/4), E. mucronatus (75%; 3/4) and P. rufotuberculatus (100%; 1/1). R. robustus, R. pictipes and P. geniculatus were the main vectors of T. cruzi in the studied areas; however, the detection of infections in P. lignarius, E. mucronatus and P. rufotuberculatus indicated that these species can also act as potential vectors of T. cruzi in the study areas.