- Top of page
- Mechanisms of RNAi
- Methods for achieving RNAi in triatomines
- RNAi studies in triatomines
- Prospects of RNAi in triatomines
Abstract Triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) are obligate hematophagous insects. They are of medical importance because they are vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in the Americas. In recent years, the RNA interference (RNAi) technology has emerged as a practical and useful alternative means of studying gene function in insects, including triatomine bugs. RNAi research in triatomines is still in its early stages, several issues still need to be elucidated, including the description of the molecules involved in the RNAi machinery and aspects related to phenotype evaluation and persistence of the knockdown in different tissues and organs. This review considers recent applications of RNAi to triatomine research, describing the major methods that have been applied during the knockdown process such as the double-stranded RNA delivery mechanism (injection, microinjection, or ingestion) and the phenotype characterization (mRNA and target protein levels) in studies conducted with the intent to provide greater insights into the biology of these insects. In addition to the characterization of insect biomolecules, some with biopharmacological potential, RNAi may provide a new view of the interaction between triatomine and trypanosomatids, enabling the development of new measures for vector control and transmission of the parasite.