Kissing bugs harbor Chagas disease

One look at the kissing bug and kissing would be the last thought most folks would have, but even touching one can sometimes have dire consequences, said a vector-borne disease expert with Texas A&M University who is leading a study and asking for the public’s help to determine the insect pests’ current range in the southern U.S.

The study team includes Dr. Sarah Hamer, study leader and an assistant professor along with doctoral student Rachel Curtis, both with the department of veterinary integrative biosciences; Dr. Gabriel Hamer, department of entomology faculty member; and Dr. Karen Snowden, department of veterinary pathobiology, all at Texas A&M University.

The team is studying kissing bugs and Chagas disease, which is caused by parasites many of the bugs harbor.

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