Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Teresa P. Feria

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew D. Terry

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert K. Dearth


Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and is a major public health concern in many areas of the world, including the United States. The disease is transmitted by insect vectors known as kissing bugs from the subfamily Triatominae. While the majority of studies focus on domestic and peri-domestic collections, this study collected insect vectors from state parks in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. PCR analysis was done to obtain infection rates for collected insects, and a morphological examination was done to check insects for gender. In total 18 insects were captured with 12 of the captured insects being female, and 6 being male. A total infection rate of 67% was seen. Our results reason that the prevention of insect vectors at both the sylvatic level and domestic level may be more effective in stopping the spread of Chagas disease than prevention at the domestic level alone.


Copyright 2015 Carlos Guzman Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Biology Commons