Triatoma virus (entomopathogen)
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Triatoma virus (TrV)
The virus infects the kissing bug Triatoma infestans, an important vector of the Chagas disease in South America. Some related kissing bugs may also become infected. The virus multiplies in the gut cells of the host. Infections cause delayed development, reduced oviposition, and premature death of the host insects. Disease incidence in the field can reach 10%.
The virus is present in the feces of the infected bugs and is apparently transmitted this way. Chickens whose skin was contaminated with the virus passed on the virus to other T. infestans bugs while the chickens themselves also developed antibodies against the virus (Muscio et al., 2000). Similarly, humans exposed to infected kissing bugs can also develop antibodies against the virus, but the virus apparently does not replicate in humans (Querido et al., 2015).
The genome of the virus contains approximately 9,010 nucleotides and consists of 2 open reading frames, ORF1 (encoding nonstructural proteins) and ORF2 (encoding structural proteins).