Phenology and environmental predictors of Triatoma sanguisuga dispersal in east-central Texas, United States.
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Of 11 triatomine species in the United States (US), Triatoma sanguisuga has the widest distribution across a 23-state region encompassing the southeastern US. This species consistently feeds on humans and dogs and has a high infection prevalence with the Chagas parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, with over 30-60% of adults infected. Little is known about the phenology and environmental predictors of dispersal activity of Triatoma sanguisuga. Using manual searches standardized by effort, we sampled kissing bugs in east central Texas, US every other night from June to November 2020 to determine their phenology and environmental predictors of activity. We found 176 triatomines alive, all of which were T. sanguisuga, with peak collections in early August and cessation of activity by late October; the phenology as determined by this active surveillance matched what has been reported using a passive community science approach. Using a negative binomial regression, we found temperature to have a positive correlation with T. sanguisuga dispersal activity, while wind speed had a significant negative correlation. We identified increased collections during sampling sessions with precipitation during the preceding 22h. Further, wind from the southwest - the direction of most of the sylvatic habitat in the study area - was correlated with an increased dispersal activity, suggesting wind-facilitated dispersal. Given concerns for human and animal Chagas disease within the distribution of T. sanguisuga, vector control strategies can be adapted based on the factors influencing dispersal behavior.
author list (cited authors)
Fimbres-Macias, J. P., Harris, T. A., Hamer, S. A., & Hamer, G. L.
complete list of authors
Fimbres-Macias, Juan P||Harris, Trevor A||Hamer, Sarah A||Hamer, Gabriel L