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Infect Genet Evol. 2019 Aug 8:103998. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2019.103998. [Epub ahead of print]

Protein mass spectrometry detects multiple bloodmeals for enhanced Chagas disease vector ecology.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States.
2
Laboratorio de Entomología Aplicada y Parasitología, Escuela de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Edificio T-10 Ciudad Universitaria Zona 12, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States.
3
Statistical Software Support and Consulting Services, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States.
4
Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States. Electronic address: bballif@uvm.edu.
5
Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States. Electronic address: lori.stevens@uvm.edu.

Abstract

Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease endemic in Latin America, is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is responsible for significant health impacts, especially in rural communities. The parasite is transmitted by insect vectors in the Triatominae subfamily and due to lack of vaccines and limited treatment options, vector control is the main way of controlling the disease. Knowing what vectors are feeding on directly enhances our understanding of the ecology and biology of the different vector species and can potentially aid in engaging communities in active disease control, a concept known as Ecohealth management. We evaluated bloodmeals in rural community, house-caught insect vectors previously evaluated for bloodmeals via DNA analysis as part of a larger collaborative project from three countries in Central America, including Guatemala. In addition to identifying bloodmeals in 100% of all samples using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (n = 50), strikingly for 53% of these samples there was no evidence of a recent bloodmeal by DNA-PCR. As individual vectors often feed on multiple sources, we developed an enhanced detection pipeline, and showed the ability to quantify a bloodmeal using stable-isotope-containing synthetic references peptides, a first step in further exploration of species-specific bloodmeal composition. Furthermore, we show that a lower resolution mass spectrometer is sufficient to correctly identify taxa from bloodmeals, an important and strong attribute of our LC-MS/MS-based method, opening the door to using proteomics in countries where Chagas disease is endemic.

KEYWORDS:

Bloodmeal; Chagas; Ecohealth; LC-MS/MS; Mass spectrometry; Triatoma dimidiata

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