Trypanosoma cruzi-infected triatomines and rodents co-occur in a coastal island of northern Chile

Ricardo Campos-Soto, Gabriel Díaz-Campusano, Nicol Quiroga, Catalina Muñoz-San Martín, Ninette Rives-Blanchard, Fernando Torres-Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Trypanosoma cruzi, the cause agent of Chagas disease, is transmitted mainly by bloodfeeding insects of the subfamily Triatominae. The T. cruzi life cycle alternates between triatomines and mammalian hosts, excluding birds and reptiles. Triatomines of Mepraia genus are wild vectors of T. cruzi in Chile. Mepraia specimens infected with T. cruzi have been detected in Pan de Azúcar and Santa María islands. The most common vertebrates that inhabit these islands are birds and reptiles, and it is unknown whether small mammals are present. Consequently, it is relevant to know whether there are any T. cruzi-infected small mammals on those islands to elucidate the T. cruzi cycle. To clarify this crossroads, islands of northern Chile were explored to determine if T. cruzi-infected triatomines and rodents co-occur in islands of northern Chile. T. cruzi DNA was detected by conventional and real-time PCR in three islands: On Santa María and Pan de Azúcar islands T. cruzi was detected in Mepraia sp samples, while on Pan de Azúcar (6.1%) and Damas islands (15%) was detected in the rodent Abrothrix olivacea. We show for the first time in Chile the occurrence of insular rodents infected with T. cruzi, and a complete T. cruzi life cycle in a coastal island. Our results provide new insights to understand the T. cruzi infection in the wild cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9967
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2020


  • Hemiptera:Reduviidae
  • Insular small mammals
  • Island T. cruzi cycle
  • Island T. cruzi hosts
  • Mepraia
  • T. cruzi life cycle
  • T. cruzi reservoir in islands
  • Trypanosoma cruzi


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