Temporal differences in blood meal detection from the midguts of Triatoma infestans

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2012 Mar-Apr;54(2):83-7. doi: 10.1590/s0036-46652012000200005.


We used genus/species specific PCRs to determine the temporal persistence of host DNA in Triatoma infestans experimentally fed on blood from six common vertebrate species: humans, domestic dogs, guinea pigs, chickens, mice, and pigs. Twenty third or fourth instar nymphs per animal group were allowed to feed to engorgement, followed by fasting-maintenance in the insectary. At 7, 14, 21, or 28 days post-feeding, the midgut contents from five triatomines per group were tested with the respective PCR assay. DNA from all vertebrate species was detected in at least four of five study nymphs at seven and 14 days post-feeding. DNA of humans, domestic dogs, guinea pigs, pigs, and chickens were more successfully detected (80-100%) through day 21, and less successfully (20-100%) at day 28. Findings demonstrate that species-specific PCRs can consistently identify feeding sources of T. infestans within two weeks, a biologically relevant time interval.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood*
  • Chickens
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA / classification
  • Dogs
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Nymph
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Swine
  • Triatoma / physiology*
  • Urban Population


  • DNA