Bed Bugs and Kissing Bugs are Cousins: 45 Pathogens Reported and Found in Bed Bugs

Trypanosoma cruzi (deadly CHAGAS Disease)

T. cruzi, which causes Chagas disease, is transmitted by kissing bugs. Bedbugs and kissing bugs have many similarities: both have reflexive feces excretion after a blood meal, which is an important behavioral feature responsible for transcutaneous T. cruzi transmission from kissing bugs [38]. Indeed, scratching pruritic bites facilitates mechanical entry of parasites contained in bedbug feces into bite sites. Moreover, Latin American biotopes of the 2 bugs live in proximity in the wild and around or in houses, and contacts between the 2 insects are frequent, mostly in rural areas or poor districts, where T. cruzi transmission is frequent. Pertinently, T. cruzi has been detected in wild bedbugs. Moreover, in experimental laboratory studies, after eating an infectious meal, the bedbug had acquired the parasite, which replicated and was detected in feces [39]. Transstadial transmission has also been proven, and Azevedo et al [39] studied bedbug salivary glands to precisely describe their ultrastructure, as T. cruzi stored therein might be transmitted during a blood meal. Thus, arguments supporting vectorial competence and capacity exist in the literature, and bedbug transmission to humans would not be unlikely. To date, T. cruzi is among the most studied candidates for transmision via feces or saliva, and ongoing experimental and epidemiological studies are trying to determine whether transmission is fact or fiction [6, 7, 39, 40].

Hepatitis B virus.

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