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. Due to laboratory workload and budget constraints at CDC, only bugs implicated in a human exposure will be accepted for testing. This free service is provided to Texas residents only.
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 container(s), sufficiently padded if breakable, and accompanying “Texas Triatomine Bug Submission Form(s)” into a mailing tube or padded envelope and mail to:
Department of State Health Services
Attn: Zoonosis Control Branch – MC1956
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
Notify Bonny Mayes at firstname.lastname@example.org (or 512-776-2888) if you have questions.
DSHS Zoonosis Control personnel will communicate test results to the original
submitter, usually within 2 – 5 weeks of receiving the specimen (laboratory
workload at CDC dictates turnaround time).