Beatriz Alicia Garcia, Ph.D.

Career Investigator
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
National University of Cordoba
Pabellón Argentina 2° Piso
Ciudad Universitaria
Research Field
Award Year
Country Of Origin
Mentor Name
Jeffrey R. Powell, Ph.D.


Triatoma infestans is the main vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan agent of Chagas disease, in the Southern Cone of South American countries. The interruption of transmission of this parasitic and infectious disease consists of vector control by insecticide treatment of infested dwellings. However, vector control has proven to be difficult, in part as a consequence of the variability and extension of endemic areas, and because of the long period of control necessary to prevent the recovery of treated bug populations. The long-term effectiveness of the control campaigns is greatly dependent upon the vector population structure. The genetic analysis of vector populations is important in this respect and may be useful in entomological surveillance of Chagas vectors control programs, since it may provide information on the source of the insects in reinfested areas. The macro-and microgeographical analysis of the genetic structure of populations of T. infestans can provide a new basis for understanding the dynamics and evolution of vector populations and resolving questions on processes such as dispersal and recolonization of the species that directly affect the efficiency of control efforts. On the other hand, it was detected vector control failure caused by resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. To this respect, the analysis of genes related with the reproduction as vitellogenin gene and genes associated with pyrethroid resistance as cytochrome P450 genes, would provide useful information for the development of alternative control strategies and the management of the resistance, respectively. In my lab, we are currently analyzing the genetic structure in populations of the Chagas disease vector T. infestans and genes related with the reproduction and resistance to insecticides.