High phylogeographic structure in sylvatic vectors of Chagas disease of the genus Mepraia (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)

Ricardo Campos, Fernando Torres-Pérez, Carezza Botto-Mahan, Ximena Coronado, Aldo Solari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The hematophagous Hemiptera of the subfamily Triatominae are a very diverse group with a variety of morphs, behaviors and distributions. They have great epidemiological importance because many of its members are vectors of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. Mepraia is a genus of Triatominae endemic to Chile responsible for transmitting T. cruzi in the sylvatic cycle. Mepraia includes three species, M. gajardoi (18° 30'-26° 30' S) M. spinolai (26° 30'-34° 20' S) and the recently described M. parapatrica in intermediate zones (24° 36'-26° 51' S). Using mitochondrial DNA sequences, we inferred historical processes that led to the current structure of populations. Phylogeographic analyses identified three lineages, congruent with current taxonomy, and populations were highly structured. The times to the most recent common ancestor suggest that M. spinolai is the oldest lineage. We discuss the taxonomic and biogeographic implications of our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-286
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chagas disease
  • Chile
  • Mepraia gajardoi
  • Mepraia spinolai
  • Phylogeography
  • Triatominae vectors


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