2019–2022 Inter-Action project (funding by Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic; no. LTAUSA18032) „ Adaptive evolution and epidemiology of a parasite in the context of change in host behavior: the bed bug resurgence,“ together with the Biological Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, and Texas A&M University (USA).
Jan Štefka (Biological Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences)
Edward L. Vargo (Texas A&M University, USA)
Warren Booth (University of Tulsa, USA)
Coby Schal (North Carolina State University, USA)
The project utilizes the current bed bug resurgence for a general study of host-parasite relationships. However, at the same time it searches for the origins and mechanisms of the bed bug expansion. We therefore aim at precision of the methodology of bed bug control, and especially the prevention of bed bug dispersal. The project also builds a general model of parasite propagation in a modern human society.
a) Adaptive evolution in the host-parasite relationship: the role of resistance to insecticides in the bed bug expansion.
b) The effect of host behavior changes on the parasite population structure and dynamics: the effect of tourism, work-related migration, and social situation on the mechanisms of bed bug propagation and the character of local infestations.
c) The effect of host population structure on the parasite population dynamics: the effect of globalization (e.g. the US–EU contacts, or the fading significance of national boarders in EU) on the bed bug expansion.
Sample collection in cooperation with pest management companies. In the frame of the Inter-Action project we designed a network of cities across Europe (see the picture) and the USA. Study of population structure (mtDNA sequences, microsatellites, ddRAD – double digest restriction associated DNA) and potential adaptive traits (sodium channel gene sequences, analysis of differential RNA expression).