Genomics, evolution and biogeography of species of the genus Rhodnius: vectors of Chagas disease

Project: Research project

Description

The subfamily Triatominae comprises approximately 147 species, which are important in public health because some are capable of transmitting the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, responsible for Chagas disease, which is of great impact in Latin American countries. One of the characteristics of Triatominae is their high morphological diversity, so their species have been classified into 5 tribes, of which one of the most important for its great vectorial capacity and wide geographical distribution is the Rhodnini tribe and specifically the species of the genus Rhodnius. The latter comprises 18 species and although there are a large number of studies about their taxonomy, the evolutionary panorama of these species is not clear and this is probably due to the fact that the studies use few molecular markers and especially only use mitochondrial DNA to generate conclusions. Therefore, there are several contradictory hypotheses about the origin and diversification of these species in northern Latin America and Central America, making it difficult to understand the proper identification of some species (e.g., R. prolixus and R. robustus), the dispersion of these species, their current geographic distribution, and the correct formulation of vector control strategies.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/3/175/9/19