Species-dependent variation of the gut bacterial communities across Trypanosoma cruzi insect vectors

Luisa M. Arias-Giraldo, Marina Muñoz, Carolina Hernández, Giovanny Herrera, Natalia Velásquez-Ortiz, Omar Cantillo-Barraza, Plutarco Urbano, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) are the insect vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. The gut bacterial communities affect the development of T. cruzi inside the vector, making the characterization of its composition important in the understanding of infection development. We collected 54 triatomine bugs corresponding to four genera in different departments of Colombia. DNA extraction and PCR were performed to evaluate T. cruzi presence and to determine the discrete typing unit (DTU) of the parasite. PCR products of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene were pooled and sequenced. Resulting reads were denoised and QIIME 2 was used for the identification of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs). Diversity (alpha and beta diversity) and richness analyses, Circos plots, and principal component analysis (PCA) were also performed. The overall T. cruzi infection frequency was 75.9%, with TcI being the predominant DTU. Approximately 500,000 sequences were analyzed and 27 bacterial phyla were identified. The most abundant phyla were Proteobacteria (33.9%), Actinobacteria (32.4%), Firmicutes (19.6%), and Bacteroidetes (7.6%), which together accounted for over 90% of the gut communities identified in this study. Genera were identified for these main bacterial phyla, revealing the presence of important bacteria such as Rhodococcus, Serratia, and Wolbachia. The composition of bacterial phyla in the gut of the insects was significantly different between triatomine species, whereas no significant difference was seen between the state of T. cruzi infection. We suggest further investigation with the evaluation of additional variables and a larger sample size. To our knowledge, this study is the first characterization of the gut bacterial structure of the main triatomine genera in Colombia.

Translated title of the contributionVariación dependiente de la especie de las comunidades bacterianas del intestino en los insectos vectores de Trypanosoma cruzi
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0240916
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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