Effects of climate change on the metacyclogenesis of Trypanosoma cuzi and on the life cycle of Rhodnius prolixus and Panstrongylus geniculatus

Project: Research Project

Project Details


"It is estimated that under the effect of climate change the average global temperature will increase from 1 to 3.5ºC. This rapid increase in temperature will have consequences not only for human health but also for the survival of many other animals.
Because most vector-borne infectious disease organisms are sensitive to climatic conditions, it is expected that under the occurrence of climate change, the transmission of these diseases will be affected. Several studies have been carried out in relation to the transmission of parasitic diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis among others. In the specific case of malaria, it has been observed that the time it takes Plasmodium, within the mosquito vector, to move from gametocytes to sporozoite infective forms decreases when the temperature of the environment increases. It is also reported that the rate of development of the mosquito vector is faster, being able to obtain a greater abundance of insects per season. In Colombia, a resurgence of endemic and epidemic malaria has been reported that correlates with the child phenomenon (ENSO).
Another example is the transmission of dengue where the importance of temperature in the development of the vector Aedes aegypti has been evaluated, demonstrating that the abundance of mosquitoes is greater when temperatures increase, causing greater transmission.
To date, very little research has focused on studying the effect of climate change on Chagas disease, which affects more than 8 million people (CDC, 2010). There are also no reports showing predictions of a decrease in the development cycle of insects or of the parasite's metacyclogenesis. There are also no reports on the genes of the parasite involved in the transformation of the parasite into the infecting forms and whether temperature plays an important role in the differential expression of these genes. For this reason it is necessary to conduct a study to elucidate the possible consequences of climate change in the transmission of Chagas disease, the differential expression of the genes involved in the metacyclogenesis of the parasite and the behavior of the different TUs in the insect vector.
Effective start/end date4/13/154/13/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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