Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and is transmitted by blood-sucking triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), commonly known as kissing bugs. Approximately 17 million people are infected with Chagas disease. Chagas disease is prevalent in Central and South America causing 45,000 deaths per year. T. cruzi, has now been detected in recent studies in Arizona and Texas where 41-51% of collected traitomine bugs were infected with T. cruzi. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of T. cruzi in New Mexico triatomine bugs. Insects were collected daily from light traps placed in several locations throughout southeastern New Mexico. Triatomine bugs were identified and transported to the University of New Mexico Medical School where PCR tests were used determine infection status.