Biology Professor Aids in Discovery of First Case of Insect Transmission of Chagas Parasite
Loyola press release - January 12, 2007
First human case of insect transmission of Chagas parasite identified
Not a public health concern
The discovery was made after a resident brought insects to the attention of a pest control operator who identified them as kissing bugs. After researching the bug on the Internet, the resident realized the potential for Chagas transmission. Because Dr. Dorn is known in this area as the expert on Chagas disease and her ongoing international research in this field, she was contacted to administer the test for the Chagas parasite and further investigate this situation. Both residents were tested at Loyola and the Centers for Disease Control and one resident tested positive for the exposure to the Chagas parasite. Many insects have been collected in the house and the nearby building and studies carried out by Dr. Dorn and her students over the last several months indicate that more than half of the insects tested carry the Chagas parasite.
What does this mean and what are the implications for the general public.
Although we have known for many years that there is an endemic cycle in wild animals in
Dr. Dorn has spent 14 years studying Chagas disease, mostly in
Dr. Dorn’s scholarly paper on this significant finding will soon be published in the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases which is published by the Centers for Disease Control. She also presented her findings at the annual meeting of American Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in