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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 95, No. 4, 2000, pp. 535-544
Bioline Code: oc00085
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 95, No. 4, 2000, pp. 535-544

 en Trypanosoma cruzi - The Vector-parasite Paradox
CJ Schofield

Abstract

Trypanosoma cruzi and the majority of its insect vectors (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) are confined to the Americas. But while recent molecular studies indicate a relatively ancient origin for the parasite (~65 million years ago) there is increasing evidence that the blood-sucking triatomine vectors have evolved comparatively recently ({5 mya). This review examines the evidence for these ideas, and attempts to reconcile the apparent paradox by suggesting that marsupial opossums (Didelphidae) may have played a role, not just as original reservoir hosts, but also as original vectors of the parasite.

Keywords
Trypanosoma cruzi, Triatominae, Didelphidae, evolution

 
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