, Volume 162, Issue 5, pp 369-372

Isolation of Paecilomyces lilacinus (Thom) Samson (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) from the Chagas disease vector, Triatoma infestans Klug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in an endemic area in Argentina

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A survey for entomopathogenic fungi of the Chagas disease vector Triatoma infestans was conducted in two provinces of Argentina from March–December 2003. Field-collected insects that died in the laboratory were individually maintained in moist chamber and incubated at 22 °C. Triatominae adults infected with the fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus were found at El Quebracho (27°34′S–64°31′W), Santiago del Estero province, Argentina, in December 2003. Paecilomyces lilacinus was cultured and isolated from infected insects in SDAY, PYG and MEA media. Pathogenicity tests were conducted and positive results were recorded. The median survival time (MST) of T. infestans exposed to a P. lilacinus conidial suspension was 12.8 days, and 100% mortality occurred at 30 days post-treatment. This is the first record of natural infection caused by P. lilacinus in T. infestans in the world.