Transcriptomic modulation in response to an intoxication with deltamethrin in a population of Triatoma infestans with low resistance to pyrethroids

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022 Jun 29;16(6):e0010060. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010060. eCollection 2022 Jun.


Background: Triatoma infestans is the main vector of Chagas disease in the Southern Cone. The resistance to pyrethroid insecticides developed by populations of this species impairs the effectiveness of vector control campaigns in wide regions of Argentina. The study of the global transcriptomic response to pyrethroid insecticides is important to deepen the knowledge about detoxification in triatomines.

Methodology and findings: We used RNA-Seq to explore the early transcriptomic response after intoxication with deltamethrin in a population of T. infestans which presents low resistance to pyrethroids. We were able to assemble a complete transcriptome of this vector and found evidence of differentially expressed genes belonging to diverse families such as chemosensory and odorant-binding proteins, ABC transporters and heat-shock proteins. Moreover, genes related to transcription and translation, energetic metabolism and cuticle rearrangements were also modulated. Finally, we characterized the repertoire of previously uncharacterized detoxification-related gene families in T. infestans and Rhodnius prolixus.

Conclusions and significance: Our work contributes to the understanding of the detoxification response in vectors of Chagas disease. Given the absence of an annotated genome from T. infestans, the analysis presented here constitutes a resource for molecular and physiological studies in this species. The results increase the knowledge on detoxification processes in vectors of Chagas disease, and provide relevant information to explore undescribed potential insecticide resistance mechanisms in populations of these insects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chagas Disease*
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics
  • Insecticides* / metabolism
  • Insecticides* / pharmacology
  • Nitriles / metabolism
  • Pyrethrins* / metabolism
  • Pyrethrins* / pharmacology
  • Transcriptome
  • Triatoma*


  • Insecticides
  • Nitriles
  • Pyrethrins
  • decamethrin

Grant support

This work has been supported by Argentinean Agencia Nacional de Promoción de la Innovación, el Desarrollo Tecnológico y la Innovación; PICTstartup 2018-0275 and PICT2018-0862 to S.O., PICT-2019-01533 to LT. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.