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An integrative approach to morphological and molecular diversity of Triatoma brasiliensis, the main Chagas Disease vector in the Brazilian semiarid: elucidating links along the epidemiological chain

Grant number: 18/04594-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health
Principal Investigator:Carlos Eduardo de Almeida
Grantee:Maria Carolina Viana Alves
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/08176-9 - An integrative approach to morphological and molecular diversity of Triatoma brasiliensis, the main Chagas Disease vector in the Brazilian semiarid: elucidating links along the epidemiological chain, AP.JP

Abstract

In semi-arid areas of Brazil, Triatoma brasiliensis is the most important Chagas Disease vector, with potential to elucidate aspects of other elements of eco-epidemiologic chain. Therefore, we will use an integrative method applied to T. brasiliensis specimens collected in sites with records of high domiciliary infestation pressure in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The re-infestation foci (via population genetics) and demographic aspects of T. brasiliensis populations under control activities (via Approximate Bayesian Computation - ABC) will be elucidated by using DNA extracted from legs of insects via two molecular markers: cytochrome b (cytb) fragments and microsatellites, combined with the geometric morphometrics by using the heads and wings. By using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) we will explore genes associated to domiciliation process by analyzing transcriptomes from antennae and rostrum. The Trypanosoma cruzi genotyping, T. brasiliensis feeding sources and T. cruzi reservoirs will be identifying by using NGS to the blood meal ingested by the insect through metagenomics/metabarcodng. The landscape genetics will be applied by combining morphological and genotypic information via ecological and spatial data, aiming to detect corridors for population dispersion of insects that invade homes. This project counts with an innovative and synergic model-approach to determine the vector genetic structure, the genetic base related to domiciliation process, the parasite lineages, T. cruzi reservoir and factor that make possible the vector dispersion to domiciles. Finally, an integrated analysis of results will be converted to a comprehensive way to be passed to those involved in the vector control. (AU)