Smallness of the Panmictic Unit of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)

Simone Frederique Breniere, Marie France Bosseno, Fernando Vargas, Nina Yaksic Feraude, François Noireau, Sebastien Noel, Jean Pierre Dujardin, Michel Tibayrenc

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The population genetic structure of Triatoma infestans (Klug), the principal vector of the causative agent of Chagas disease in Bolivia, was investigated by enzyme electrophoresis at 15 loci, of which 3 were polymorphic. A total of 1,286 adults and nymphs was collected from 19 localities of the Cochabamba (high endemicity) and La Paz (low endemicity) departments. Previous results were confirmed, including a low level of polymorphism (0.20), low genetic distance between geographic areas, and a population structure compatible with an isolation by distance model. However, a high proportion (26.3%) of the surveyed localities showed a significant excess of homozygotes, disputing previous conclusions that considered the village as the probable panmictic unit. The excess of homozygotes was reduced when smaller subunits, such as individual houses or chicken coops, were considered, indicating a Wahlund effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-917
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Bolivia
  • Chagas disease
  • Population genetics
  • Population structure
  • Triatoma infestans


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