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Bed Bugs [might be able to] Transmit the Chagas Disease Parasite

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  1. Sheppie

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 20 2014 8:47:47
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    The parasite is usually associated with Latin and South America, but was recently found throughout Louisiana, too

    By Rachel Nuwer
    smithsonian.com
    November 18, 2014

    Having insects crawl all over your face and body and bite you while you sleep is a nightmare. For anyone with bedbugs, it's also a reality. It's bad enough to provide a nocturnal meal to a six-legged blood sucker. But for many, that experience delivers even more than phobia: it could be deadly.

    We already know that some night-time creepers, including mosquitoes and kissing bugs, can transmit life-threatening maladies like malaria or Chagas disease. But still others, researchers found, while not natural vectors of disease, can be trasmitters, if given the chance. Bed bugs—normally just disgust-inducing pests—can becomes a bedroom-dwelling army of disease carriers when they acquire and transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Those were the findings of a new paper published in American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

    Chagas disease is a top killer in Central and South America, and until now, its parasite was only known to be carried by kissing bugs. These bugs creep into a person's bed at night, often biting them around the mouth (hence their name).

    While enjoying its meal, the kissing bug will often defecate. Later, the bite begins to itch, and the person might scratch or rub it in her sleep, smearing the potentially parasite-teeming poop into the wound. If T. cruzi parasites are present, she might develop Chagas disease, which usually kills its victims years later through sudden heart disease or digestive failure.

    Kissing bugs, however, have another blood-loving, bedroom-creeping cousin: the bed bug. Given the recent uptick of bed bug infestations, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru wondered if bed bugs might be similar enough to their deadly cousins to also transmit the disease. (Some decades-old past studies also investigated this question, but they focused on mice that ate bed bugs, not bed bugs that feasted on mammals.)

    In laboratory experiments, the researchers allowed 3,000 bedbugs to feast on T. cruzi-infected mice. After a month, the majority of the bed bugs turned up positive for T. cruzi—which was not shy about taking up residence in a new species' gut. As one of the researchers commented in a release: "I've never seen so many parasites in an insect."

    Next, the researchers allowed those infected bed bugs to feed on uninfected mice. After another month, nine out of 12 of the mice had developed an infection themselves. Finally, they found that mice can develop the disease when they have a small open wound that comes into contact with infected bed bug feces. (Bed bugs, by the way, also defecate while they feed.)

    The researchers' next step is to try and find out whether or not some bed bugs in the wild (i.e., our homes) are already infected with T. cruzi, and if not, how likely this scenario is to come to pass. Unfortunately, this is something that actually could happen, they point out. An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. are now positive for Chagas disease, and the T. cruzi parasite can also live in pets.

    And, researchers from Loyola University New Orleans recently found that, of 49 kissing bugs collected from around Louisiana, 40 percent were positive for T. cruzi. Tree frogs were the most common meal for those bugs, but humans were second. The problem will probably only worsen in the future: Some studies predict that the kissing bug's range in the U.S. will expand as the climate warms.

    So between kissing bugs, bed bugs and climate change, the U.S. might be poised to become a lot more familiar with Chagas disease than it has been in the past. As the bed bug authors note, bed bugs "are already here—in our homes, in our beds and in high numbers. What we found has thrown a wrench in the way I think about transmission, and where Chagas disease could emerge next."

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bed-bugs-not-just-kissing-bugs-can-transmit-chagas-disease-parasite-180953350/#wzmKaEQsUQRl3VHk.99
    http://www.newsweek.com/bed-bugs-could-spread-deadly-heart-damaging-chagas-disease-285066
    http://www.scienceclarified.com/He-In/Insects.html

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 21 2014 13:34:17
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    Hi,

    No they cant.

    If you read the paper you will see that chagas can live inside bedbugs.

    The only way they managed to get it from the bedbug into a non chagas infected mouse was to break the mouses skin and rub the faecal material which was carrying the chagas into the wound.

    The better medical entomologists have already had to stop their vital work this week to correct this poor piece of science and its reporting.

    While under unnatural conditions you could get transmission this is very far from bedbugs actually transmitting any disease.

    In short you can catch MRSA of a door handle and yet I don't see a global panic to ban door handles.

    I have been asked about this a number of times this week and the best example I can give is the fact that I have on a number of occasions worked on properties with HIV+ people and HepC+ knowing the risks. I am sure I have also worked in a number of propertties where I did not know and neither did the occupant know they were HIV+ or HepC+. There are risks in any job that brings you into contact with blood but if the people who do such jobs stop the rest of you that panic about it will quickly descend into anarchy as you fight over who has to do it.

    Thankfully there are a few more accurate stories to counter the crass crap that some journalists claim as report, I have listed a few below:

    http://www.popsci.com/bed-bugs-and-chagas-disease-dont-worry-quite-yet
    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/bed-bugs-wont-give-chagas-disease-probably/

    Hope that explains things to people.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  3. robinsmom

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 5 2014 4:00:27
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    What if there was BOTH a bb and a mouse infestation? My employer had mice a few years ago;now, bedbugs. The area behind my desk looks like a bug, dust, and mouse droppings cemetery. What might be on these bugs when the bite me and what might get into my skin via the fresh wound?

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  4. Mellisa

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 5 2014 4:22:15
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    Hi bed-bugscouk,
    Thanks for sharing the link.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2014 12:42:35
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    robinsmom,
    You worry too much.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2014 14:13:04
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    robinsmom - 1 week ago  » 
    What might be on these bugs when the bite me and what might get into my skin via the fresh wound?

    Nothing if you grab the crevice tool on the cleaner and remove them.

    It also works well to reduce future anxiety.

    David

  7. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2014 14:42:06
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    Lou

    I have bedbugs. I'm being bitten😳

    Um not an over reaction. I'm scared. Big spindle shaped bite on my chest😔

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 15 2014 15:06:32
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    What if there was BOTH a bb and a mouse infestation? My employer had mice a few years ago;now, bedbugs. The area behind my desk looks like a bug, dust, and mouse droppings cemetery. What might be on these bugs when the bite me and what might get into my skin via the fresh wound?

    This is where I was saying that you worry too much, not that you have bite lesions. You worry about something that is far from happening.


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