Genetic transformation of a Corynebacterial symbiont from the Chagas disease vector Triatoma infestans.
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Insect-borne diseases have experienced a troubling resurgence in recent years. Emergence of resistance to pesticides greatly hampers control efforts. Paratransgenesis, or the genetic transformation of bacterial symbionts of disease vectors, is an alternative to traditional approaches. Previously, we developed paratransgenic lines of Rhodnius prolixus, a vector of Chagas disease in Central America. Here, we report identification of a Corynebacterial species as a symbiont of Triatoma infestans, a leading vector of Chagas disease in South America. We have modified this bacterium to produce an immunologically active single chain antibody fragment, termed rDB3. This study establishes the basis for generating paratransgenic T. infestans as a strategy for control of Chagas disease.