American trypanosomiasis is a zoonosis caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is transmitted mainly by blood-sucking insects belonging to the subfamily Triatominae. The importance of this parasite lies in its wide geographical distribution, high morbidity, and the fact that there has not yet been an effective treatment or vaccine. Previous studies have detailed the interactions between different triatomine species and T. cruzi strains. However, the factors necessary to establish infection in triatomines have not yet been fully elucidated. Furthermore, it is postulated that the coexistence between the parasite and triatomines could modulate the susceptibility to infection in these insects. Accordingly, in this study, we evaluated the susceptibility to T. cruzi infection in the species Triatoma (Meccus) pallidipennis, Triatoma barberi, and Triatoma lecticularia, which were infected with Ninoa, H8, INC-5, Sontecomapan, and Hueypoxtla strains. The criteria used to establish susceptibility were the amount of blood ingested by the insects, percentage of infected triatomines, concentration of parasites in feces, and percentage of metacyclic trypomastigotes in feces. These parameters were analyzed by fresh examination and differential count with Giemsa-stained smears. Our main findings suggest the following order of susceptibility concerning infection with T. cruzi: T. lecticularia > T. barberi > T. (Meccus) pallidipennis. Furthermore, the study concludes that an increased susceptibility to infection of triatomines that share the same geographic region with different strains of T. cruzi is not always a fact.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1