By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Entomologists with Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Research are reporting an increase in kissing bugs collected in multiple regions of of Texas this year.
Kissing bugs, aka triatomine bugs and conenose bugs, are potential vectors for the parasitic disease, Chagas disease, an infections of both people and animals.
“We have already collected over 300 adult kissing bug specimens in a location where we only collected six individuals in 2019,” said Gabriel Hamer, Ph.D., AgriLife Research entomologist, College Station. He is also a member of the Texas Chagas Taskforce — a group of experts raising awareness about the disease.
The collection site Hamer described is near Mission, about a four-hour drive south of San Antonio. He collected 115 kissing bugs there in about three hours one night in May.
“The lab’s kissing bug collections from College Station are also higher than in normal years,” he said.
AgriLife entomologists across the state continue to search for factors leading to above-average number of kissing bug encounters.
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