Submitting a Triatomine Bug (Kissing Bug/Cone-Nose Bug/Vinchuca) for Trypanosoma cruzi Testing
The Department of State Health Services, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides testing of Triatomine bugs for the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. T. cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease in humans and potentially fatal infections in dogs and other animals. This free service is provided to Texas residents only. Due to laboratory workload and budget constraints at the CDC laboratory that performs the testing, testing priority will be given to those bugs directly implicated in a human exposure. Not all submissions will be tested. Bugs which are not chosen for testing will, however, be identified to species. As laboratory resources allow, bugs not implicated in human exposures may be tested, however there may be a significant delay (potentially months) between submission and results reporting.
1. Fill out the “Submitter,” "Specimen," and "Comments" portions of the “Texas Triatomine Bug Submission Form” which can be downloaded here. If you are submitting more than one bug, you should complete a separate form for each.
2. Place the bug, dead or alive, into a pill vial or other suitable container. Do not use alcohol or other preservatives. If you are submitting more than one bug, you should place each bug into a separate container and label each container and its accompanying submission form such that we will know which container goes with which form.
3. Place the vial(s), sufficiently padded if breakable, and accompanying “Texas Triatomine Bug Submission Form(s)” into a mailing tube or padded envelope.
4. Call the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Regional Zoonosis Control Program office that serves your county for mailing instructions. DSHS county service areas and contact information for DSHS Regional Zoonosis Control Program offices may be found at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/zoonosis/contact/.
5. Results will be reported to you by phone, usually within 2 weeks.