Evidence based methods of vector control make significant contributions to reducing disease incidence. Cutting-edge genomics data can inform vector control strategies by providing information on high resolution mapping of vector movement to identifying targets for development of insecticides and other biocontrol methods. Chagas disease (American Trypanosomiasis) is the neglected tropical disease with the highest social and economic impact in Latin America. This illness, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (Kinetoplastea: Trypanosomatida), is transmitted by insects of the subfamily Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) with most of the main vector species belonging to the genus Triatoma. Despite the impact of this disease, very little information is known about the genetics and physiological characteristics that lead to differences in epidemiological importance between the Triatominae species. The most important vector of this zoonosis is Triatoma infestans, which colonizes houses throughout its whole geographic distribution and, despite control efforts, remains a public health problem in many of the poorest areas, due to its sylvatic foci. Laying the groundwork for modern studies of genetic characteristics contributing to epidemiological relevance, domestication and vector control efforts, we propose to sequence, assemble and annotate the genome of T. infestans, in collaboration with VectorBase. The genome combined with developmental transcriptome data will then be used to identify potential targets for vector control through insecticides and RNAi. These studies will enable researchers to move research on Chagas disease to the standards of other serious neglected diseases.
Genomic analysis provide one of the strongest approaches to targeted control of disease vectors, yet genomic resources are lacking for insect vectors of many neglected tropical diseases, including Chagas disease (American Trypanosomiasis) the parasitic disease with the highest social and economic impact in Latin America. This proposal will: (1) provide the means for future cutting-edge studies of potential targets for control efforts by sequencing, assembling and annotating the genome of T. infestans, in collaboration with VectorBase and (2) use the genome together with comparative transcriptome sequencing to lay the groundwork for identifying targets for vector control.
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