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Title: Antibody responses to saliva of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviiae) potential novel epidemiological tools for Chagas disease survelllance
Author: Schwarz, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 2563
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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The ‘Southern Cone Initiative’ was highly successful in significantly reducing populations of Triatoma infestans, the main vector of Chagas disease in Latin America. New methodologies are required to detect re-emerging T. infestans populations at an early stage after control programmes have finished. This study analysed the IgG antibody response of chickens and guinea pigs to the saliva of T. infestans. Highly immunogenic antigens (14, 21, 26 dDa) were recognised as soon as two days after the first exposure to bug bites by all chicken sera and a 79 kDa protein by all guinea pig sera. An IgM response to saliva of T. infestans was already detectable after one after the first exposure and last up to 18 days. Out of four identified proteins by mass spectrometry, a 14.6 kDa antigen (rTiSP14.6) was expressed and tested against animal sera from laboratory studies and from free-living hosts of T. infestans from Bolivia. Cross reactivity experiments with salivary proteins of other haematophagus species confirmed the usefulness of rTiSP14.6  not only as an epidemiological marker for the detection of low-level infestation of T. infestans but also for at least four other triatomine species. Field samples suggest that rTiSP14.6 is also a potential exposure marker for dogs. Data on national vector control programmes in Bolivia demonstrated that present control measures for T. infestans are inefficient. Using rTiSP14.6 households omitted form control campaigns or identified as free from traitomine infestation were tested positive for bug exposure. Thus, rTiSP14.6 represents a useful immuno-epidemiological marker for the detection of low-level infestations of different triatomine species, especially for countries with Chagas disease control programmes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chagas Disease