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J Med Entomol. 2001 Mar;38(2):303-7.

Blood host sources of Mepraia spinolai (Heteroptera: Reduviidae), wild vector of chagas disease in Chile.

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Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Chile.


There are two vectors of the Chagas' disease in Chile: Triatoma infestans Klug the domestic vector and Mepraia spinolai Porter the sylvatic vector. The alimentary profile of M. spinolai has been poorly studied. In this work we study the participation of humans, goats, dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, birds (hens) and reptiles in the diet of M. spinolai by analyzing the intestinal content through immunoradiometric assay. To put our results in a general context, we also compared the diet with that described for T. infestans. In decreasing order, we detected blood of rabbits, dogs, goats, rodents, humans, and birds (hens). There were 12.3% of insects infected with T. cruzi, but this fact was not significant for diet variance. In warm weather there was a larger diversity of alimentary sources than in a cold one. The niche breadth increased from 0.029 in cold weather to 0.464 in warm weather. The niche overlap of T. infestans and M. spinolai was 0.23.

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