Campus News

When bedbugs bite

Rick Tarleton, a Distinguished Research Professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ cellular biology department, was quoted in Newsweek about research that shows bedbugs can spread Chagas disease among mice.

Chagas disease previously was thought to only be carried by the kissing bug, but a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed that bedbugs can become infected after feeding on diseased mice. The researcher also showed bedbugs can pass on the disease-causing parasite to mice.

“Any time you have an infectious disease and identify a new route of infection, that’s something to be concerned about,” Tarleton said.

The article noted that bedbugs are in contact with humans more than kissing bugs.