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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Feb 20;12(2):e0006243. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006243. eCollection 2018 Feb.

An insight into the salivary gland and fat body transcriptome of Panstrongylus lignarius (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), the main vector of Chagas disease in Peru.

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Institute of Natural and Biological Sciences, Laboratory of Immunology, Federal University of Triângulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, United States of America.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research (LMVR), Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.


Triatomines are hematophagous arthropod vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas Disease. Panstrongylus lignarius, also known as Panstrongylus herreri, is considered one of the most versatile triatomines because it can parasitize different hosts, it is found in different habitats and countries, it has sylvatic, peridomestic and domestic behavior and it is a very important vector of Chagas disease, especially in Peru. Molecules produced and secreted by salivary glands and fat body are considered of important adaptational value for triatomines because, among other functions, they subvert the host haemostatic, inflammatory and immune systems and detoxify or protect them against environmental aggressors. In this context, the elucidation of the molecules produced by these tissues is highly valuable to understanding the ability of this species to adapt and transmit pathogens. Here, we use high-throughput sequencing techniques to assemble and describe the coding sequences resulting from the transcriptome of the fat body and salivary glands of P. lignarius. The final assembly of both transcriptomes together resulted in a total of 11,507 coding sequences (CDS), which were mapped from a total of 164,676,091 reads. The CDS were subdivided according to their 10 folds overexpression on salivary glands (513 CDS) or fat body (2073 CDS). Among the families of proteins found in the salivary glands, lipocalins were the most abundant. Other ubiquitous families of proteins present in other sialomes were also present in P. lignarius, including serine protease inhibitors, apyrase and antigen-5. The unique transcriptome of fat body showed proteins related to the metabolic function of this organ. Remarkably, nearly 20% of all reads mapped to transcripts coded by Triatoma virus. The data presented in this study improve the understanding on triatomines' salivary glands and fat body function and reveal important molecules used in the interplay between vectors and vertebrate hosts.

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