02980: Canine Systemic Insecticides as a Novel Intervention to Protect Dogs from Triatomine Insect Vectors of Chagas Disease

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $65,713
Sarah A Hamer, DVM, PhD; Texas A&M AgriLife Research
February 1, 2022 - January 31, 2024


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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One Health: Yes


Across the southern U.S., dogs are exposed to triatomine insects, also known as kissing bugs, which can transmit the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Chagas disease causes different types of cardiac disease in dogs, often leading to death. Any dog that encounters the insect vectors distributed across at least 28 southern states is at risk. Further, congenital transmission can occur, and infected dogs may travel, so Chagas disease is not limited to the southern states. There are no currently approved vaccines or anti-parasitic treatments. Prevention relies on vector control. A prior study (CHF grant #02448) developed a network of kennels and quantified a remarkably high disease incidence of disease; over 25% of dogs enrolled as negative seroconverted to Chagas-positive over one-year. Investigators will now utilize this network and offer a novel intervention to reduce the transmission cycle by assessing the effectiveness of four canine systemic insecticides, commonly used for tick and flea prevention, on the survivorship of local kissing bugs to determine if systemic insecticides could play a role in vector management and as a preventive measure against Chagas disease. Kissing bugs will be collected around the areas of treated dogs to identify what animals they are feeding on and understand the impact of systemic insecticides on kissing bug populations. These insects will be tested for the Chagas disease parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) and subjected to blood meal analysis using next generation sequencing to identify their natural hosts, which will provide new insight into which wildlife species to consider in management efforts. Together, these study aims intend to provide solutions for Chagas disease at the vector-dog interface in the southern U.S.


None at this time.

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