[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
11-May-2009

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Dr. Patricia Juarez
mjuarez@isis.unlp.edu.ar
54-221-482-4894
PLOS

Fungi pathogenic to insects are new tool in fight against Chagas disease

Entomopathogenic fungi may be a safe and efficient means of controlling Triatoma infestans, the bug that helps spread Chagas disease, according to new research conducted in Argentina. The study, published May 12 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, shows the success of the fungi to kill bugs resistant to current control methods.

Chagas disease is the most relevant parasitic disease in Latin America, being a major burden that affects mostly poor human populations living in rural areas. The parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is mainly transmitted through blood-feeding triatomine bugs; in the southern Cone of South America the most prominent vector is Triatoma infestans. Current control strategies based on residual chemical insecticide application are threatened by the emergence of pyrethroid resistance.

The researchers, led by Patricia Juárez, performed both laboratory and field experiments showing that the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana is virulent against bug populations from pyrethroid-resistant foci in the Argentina/Bolivia border. An attraction-infection trap was developed and tested during a 15-day period in field assays performed in two rural villages, demonstrating that more than 50% of the bugs detected were killed by fungal infection. By existing vector population models, the bug population reduction was estimated to reduce the risk of acquiring the parasite infection.

This approach might also prove useful at different settings, e.g. peridomiciliary environments where current tactics and procedures are reported to fail, and rural communities located in remote areas inaccessible to sanitary control teams. The authors emphasize that these results might help to provide a safe and efficient alternative to overcome bug pyrethroid-resilience in the short term, and might be useful to control other Chagas disease vectors as well.

###

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Partial financial support came from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization/Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Disease (A20433), the Agencia Nacional de Promocion Cientifica y Tecnologica, Argentina (PICT 01-14174), and the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Argentina, to MPJ. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

COMPETING INTERESTS: NP, SJM, JRG, and MPJ have a patent pending on a blood-sucking insect trap, and a method to detect and control those insects.

PLEASE ADD THIS LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://www.plosntds.org/doi/pntd.0000434 (link will go live on Tuesday, May 12)

CITATION: Pedrini N, Mijailovsky SJ, Girotti JR, Stariolo R, Cardozo RM, et al. (2009) Control of Pyrethroid-Resistant Chagas Disease Vectors with Entomopathogenic Fungi. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(5): e434. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000434

CONTACT:

Dr. Patricia Juárez
Instituto de Investigaciones
Bioquímicas de La Plata,
Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, UNLP
calles 60 y 120, La Plata, 1900
Argentina
Tel: 54 221 482 4894
e-mail: mjuarez@isis.unlp.edu.ar

Disclaimer

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The release is provided by the article authors. Any opinions expressed in these releases or articles are the personal views of the journal staff and/or article contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (http://www.plosntds.org/) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to the pathology, epidemiology, prevention, treatment, and control of the neglected tropical diseases, as well as public policy relevant to this group of diseases. All works published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases are open access, which means that everything is immediately and freely available subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License, and copyright is retained by the authors.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.

PLEASE MENTION THE OPEN-ACCESS JOURNAL PLoS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES (www.plosntds.org) AS THE SOURCE FOR THIS ARTICLE AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE TEXT. THANK YOU.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published weekly by the Public Library of Science (PLoS).



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.