According to investigators at the University of Central Missouri at Warrensburg, adult Cimex lectularius (bedbugs) can serve as a reservoir for Chlamydophila pneumoniae and may possibly contribute to the spread of the pathogen. They presented their study as a poster at ASM 2013, held in May 2013 in Denver.
The investigators acquired three insect colonies from different pest control companies, placed them in 95% ethanol, then isolated DNA from frass, ingestively naïve nymphs, fed nymphs, and adults. Primers were selected for C. pneumoniae
based off published sequences. PCR was performed using a 51oC annealing temperature and visualized as a 696 bp band via ethidium bromide-laden agarose gels run for 1 hour at 80 volts. Bands were excised, purified via enzyme digestion, and sequenced.
According to the University of Central Missouri researchers, the results showed bands of C. pneumoniae
in 78% of fed adult populations. However, all nymphs and frass were negative for C. pneumoniae
. PCR was performed at least five times on each sample to ensure no false results. "It appears that adult Cimex lectularius can serve as a reservoir for C. pneumoniae
and may possibly contribute to the spread of the pathogen," the researchers concluded.