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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.3 Rio de Janeiro May/June 1995 

Genetic variability and differentiation between populations of Rhodnius prolixus and R. pallescens, vectors of Chagas' Disease in Colombia

German Lopez1 

Jaime Moreno2 

Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas, Unidad de Bioquimica, Cali, Colômbia

Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Biologia, Medellin, Colômbia


Enzyme polymorphism in Rhodnius prolixus and R. pallescens (Hemiptera, Reduviidae), principal vectors of Chagas' disease in Colombia, was analyzed using starch gel electrophoresis. Three geographic locations were sampled in order to determine gene flow between populations and to characterize intra- and interspecific differences. Of 25 enzymes assayed 10 were successfully resolved and then used to score the genetic variation. The enzymes PEPD, GPI, PGM and ICD were useful to differentiate these species and PGD, PGM and MDH distinguished between sylvatic and domiciliary populations of R. prolixus. Both polymorphism and heterozygosity indicated greater genetic variability in sylvatic habitats (H = 0.021) compared to domiciliary habitats (H = 0.006) in both species. Gene flow between sylvatic and domiciliary populations in R. prolixus was found to be minimal. This fact and the genetic distance between them suggest a process of genetic isolation in the domiciliary population.

Key words: Rhodnius prolixus; Rhodnius pallescens; isoenzyme polymorphism; Chagas' disease; Triatominae; Colombia


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