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Activity of the prophenoloxidase system and survival of triatomines infected with different Trypanosoma cruzi strains under different temperatures: understanding Chagas disease in the face of climate change

González-Rete, Berenice, Salazar-Schettino, Paz María, Bucio-Torres, Martha I., Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex, Cabrera-Bravo, Margarita
Parasites & vectors 2019 v.12 no.1 pp. 219
Chagas disease, Triatominae, Trypanosoma cruzi, climate change, disease vectors, enzyme activity, human diseases, insects, life history, midgut, monophenol monooxygenase, parasites, prophenoloxidase, rectum, survival rate, temperature, vectorial capacity
BACKGROUND: Little is known about how human disease vectors will modify their life history patterns and survival capacity as a result of climate change. One case is that of Chagas disease, which has triatomine bugs and Trypanosoma cruzi as vectors and parasite, respectively. This work aimed to determine: (i) the activity of the prophenoloxidase system (prophenoloxidase and phenoloxidase activity, two indicators of immune ability) in three intestine regions (anterior midgut, posterior midgutand rectum) of the triatomine bug Meccus pallidipennis under three temperature conditions (20 °C, 30 °C and 34 °C) against two T. cruzi strains [ITRI/MX/14/CHIL (Chilpancingo) and ITRI/MX/12/MOR (Morelos)], and (ii) whether vector survival varies under these three temperatures after infection by these T. cruzi strains. RESULTS: Our results indicate that prophenoloxidase activity was lower at higher temperatures, that the level of prophenoloxidase activity elicited by each strain was different (higher in Chilpancingo than in Morelos strains), and that prophenoloxidase activity was more intense in the anterior midgut than in the posterior midgut or rectum. Survival rates were lower in insects maintained at higher temperatures and infected by Chilpancingo strains. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that climate change could lead to lower prophenoloxidase activity and survival rates in triatomines when infected with different T. cruzi strains, which could reduce the vector capacity of M. pallidipennis.