Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (4): 701-704, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.089

Deterrence of feeding in Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) after treatment of antennae with a nitric oxide donor

Valeria SFARA1, Eduardo N. ZERBA1,2, Raúl A. ALZOGARAY*,1,2
1 Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas (CIPEIN-CITEDEF/CONICET), J.B. de La Salle 4397, (1603) Villa Martelli, Prov. de Buenos Aires, Argentina; e-mail: ralzogaray@hotmail.com
2 Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, Prov. de Buenos Aires, Argentina

The blood-sucking bug Rhodnius prolixus is the main vector of Chagas Disease in Colombia, Venezuela and several countries in Central America. Nitric oxide (NO) is a ubiquitous gaseous molecule present in most types of cell and participates in the olfactory pathway of insects. In this work, nitroso-acetyl-cysteine (SNAC), a nitric oxide donor, was topically applied to the antennae of fifth instar nymphs of R. prolixus. After SNAC treatment, these insects showed a dose-dependent reluctance to feed when provided with a living pigeon as the food source (ED50 = 5.2 µg/insect). However, there was no reluctance to feed when db-cGMP was applied to the antennae of nymphs. In another experiment, insects that had their antennae treated with SNAC were less attracted than the control group to a CO2 source. A possible role of NO in the olfactory pathway of R. prolixus is discussed.

Keywords: Triatominae, Rhodnius prolixus, feeding behaviour, nitric oxide

Received: February 23, 2011; Accepted: May 16, 2011; Published: October 3, 2011

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