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The cDNAs encoding an intestinal defensin (def1) and lysozyme (lys1) of the reduviid bug Triatoma brasiliensis have been amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotide primers and 5'- and 3'-RACE, cloned and sequenced. The 576 bp clone has an open reading frame of 282 bp and encodes a pre-prodefensin with 94 amino acid residues, containing a putative(More)
We have isolated and characterised a Triatoma infestans cDNA encoding a lysozyme. A 174-bp fragment was amplified by PCR using degenerate oligodeoxyribonucleotide primers derived from the known amino acid sequences of lysozyme from other insects. This PCR fragment was used to screen a cDNA gut library of T. infestans. A clone containing the 3'-end of the(More)
Triatoma brasiliensis is an important vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, commonly found in semi-arid areas of north-eastern Brazil. T. cruzi (TcI) is a widely distributed genotype in all biomes of Brazil. To evaluate selective pressures exerted by a vector species on the development of TcI derived from a different biome (Atlantic Rainforest), T. brasiliensis(More)
Defensins are cysteine-rich peptides involved in the innate immunity of insects and many other organisms. In the present study, two novel defensin-encoding cDNAs and the respective genomic DNAs (def3 and def4) of Triatoma brasiliensis were identified and their tissue-specific and temporal expression was characterized. Both of the deduced mature peptides(More)
From a cDNA library of the whole insect, a trypsin gene of Pediculus humanus has been cloned and sequenced. The 908 bp clone has an open reading frame of 759 bp, which encodes a pre-proenzyme with 253 amino acid residues. A sixteen-residue N-terminal signal peptide is followed by a twelve-residue activation peptide with putative cleavage sites at Gly16 and(More)
Rhodnius prolixus is an obligate haematophagous insect and one of the most important vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in the Americas. T. cruzi is a highly variable parasite which is not transmitted in the same efficiency by the different triatomine vectors. Because different T. cruzi genotypes are aetiopathologically(More)
Chagas disease is caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and affects about 15 million people in the Americas. In the Brazilian Amazon Basin, the disease is enzootic, with bugs from the genus Rhodnius serving as the main vectors, while in the northeastern region, mainly the genus Triatoma is naturally infected with T. cruzi. Oral infections(More)
Cathepsin B- and cathepsin L-like activities were identified in gut extracts of the blood-sucking bug Triatoma infestans using specific substrates and inhibitors. Activities decreased during the first 2 days after feeding but increased to a maximum value at 5 and 10 days post feeding. The deduced 332 and 328 amino acid sequences showed high levels of(More)
Chagas disease is an enzootic disease, in which the flagellate Trypanosoma cruzi infects a large variety of animals. Humans are accidentally infected due to the migration into wild environments. To identify T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTUs), 19 Brazilian isolates from different biomes and hosts were analyzed by PCR amplification of 24Sα rRNA, 18S rRNA(More)
Antimicrobial peptides are an essential component of the insect immune system. One of the most ubiquitous is defensin, which has been identified in all examined insect orders. Triatoma brasiliensis (Heteroptera, Triatominae), the main Trypanosoma cruzi vector in semi-arid regions of north-eastern Brazil, expresses def1, a defensin encoding gene,(More)