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Chagas Disease in Texas: More of a Threat than Previously Thought?

from NPMA

Conenose, or kissing bugs (Triatoma spp.), are blood-feeding assassin bugs implicated in transmitting disease throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. Munis Huhaya, of the University of Texas at El Paso, led a research team that collected conenose bugs in southern Texas and screened them for the protozoan parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) that causes Chagas disease in humans. Surprisingly, 61 percent of the 39 conenose bugs captured were found to be infected with the disease-causing parasite. Chagas disease transmission typically occurs when a sleeping person is bitten on exposed skin and feces containing the parasite are scratched into the bite-wound by the sleeping person. Many people remain asymptomatic while 20-30 percent of sufferers develop debilitating or life-threatening symptoms.

This paper was published in the most recent volume of the journal Acta Tropica under the title, “Incidence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in triatomines collected at Indio Mountains Research Station." more

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