Trypanosoma rangeli is non pathogenic for humans but of important medical and epidemiological interest because it shares vertebrate hosts, insect vectors, reservoirs and geographic areas with T. cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. Therefore, in this work, we set up two PCR reactions, TcH2AF/R and TrFR2, to distinguish T. cruzi from T. rangeli in mixed infections of vectors based on amplification of the histone H2A/SIRE and the small nucleolar RNA Cl1 genes, respectively. Both PCRs were able to appropriately detect all T. cruzi or T. rangeli experimentally infected-triatomines, as well as the S35/S36 PCR which amplifies the variable region of minicircle kDNA of T. cruzi. In mixed infections, whereas T. cruzi DNA was amplified in 100% of samples with TcH2AF/R and S35/S36 PCRs, T. rangeli was detected in 71% with TrF/R2 and in 6% with S35/S36. In a group of Rhodnius colombiensis collected from Coyaima (Colombia), T. cruzi was identified in 100% with both PCRs and T. rangeli in 14% with TrF/R2 and 10% with S35/S36 PCR. These results show that TcH2AF/R and TrF/R2 PCRs which are capable of recognizing all T. cruzi and T. rangeli strains and lineages could be useful for diagnosis as well as for epidemiological field studies of T. cruzi and T. rangeli vector infections.
Trypanosoma cruzi; Trypanosoma rangeli; Rhodnius prolixus; Rhodnius colombiensis; PCR; Histone H2A; SIRE; sno-RNA -Cl1