U of S researchers discover vampire bugs’ fatal flaw

University of Saskatchewan researchers have found a unique blood-cooling system in the head of “kissing bugs” that transmit life-threatening Chagas disease—a finding that may help develop next-generation pest control tools to thwart these blood-sucking critters.

“These insects are developing resistance to insecticides, so we need to better understand their biology to find new ways for killing them and limit the spread of Chagas disease,” said U of S physiology professor Juan Ianowski.

Untreatable and often undetected, Chagas disease affects six to seven million people, mostly in Latin America where it spreads mainly through Rhodnius prolixus, known as the “kissing bug” for its habit of biting around its victim’s mouth.


>Read more on the Canadian Light Source website