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Molecular tracking of Trypanosoma Cruzi from Chagas Disease vectors in an outbreak area in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Grant number: 17/19420-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology
Principal Investigator:Carlos Eduardo de Almeida
Grantee:Carolina Valença Barbosa
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


In endemic areas of Chagas disease, Trypanosoma cruzi circulates in different cycles: the wild, the peridomicilar and the domiciliary. In the Brazilian Northeast, two native species of Chagas' disease vectors are found circulating between these cycles: Triatoma pseudomaculata and T. brasiliensis. Both have been colonizing households in Rio Grande do Norte (RN) with high prevalences of natural T. cruzi infection. An outbreak of transmission of Chagas' disease was officially notified in 2016 in four municipalities of this state: Tenente Ananias, Marcelino Vieira, Alexandria and Pilões. However, to date, the elements involved in the transmission of the Chagas' disease in the region are unknown. Therefore, this project aims to avoid that important information about the event are lost, in this case, regarding tracking the parasitic genotypes in vectors. In this sense, triatomines will be captured in their different ecotypes (domiciliary, peridomiciliary and wild) in the area of the chagasic outbreak. These vectors will be analyzed aiming to (i) the recognition of the prevalence of the natural infection by T. cruzi, (ii) the determination of the diversity of discrete typing units (DTU) of the parasite and (iii) the determination of the genotype of the clonal isolates of T. cruzi with high resolution markers - the microsatellites. From the obtained results it will be possible to determine the distribution patterns of the diversity of multilocus genotypes in the different vectors of the area affected by the outbreak. Therefore, the recognition of the T. cruzi gene flow may contribute to basic research and provide relevant information for a better understanding of the ecoepidemiological panorama associated with the Chagas' disease outbreak.