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.