I am interested in studying the factors that determine the ocurrence and persistence of host-vector-parasite systems, with emphasis on the ecological determinants that influence the transmission of infectious diseases. In particular, my research focuses on the study of the ecological, historical and geographical factors that influence the wild transmission of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, and its potential applied consequences. To this end, I use field and experimental evidence.


Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the simiarid-Mediterranean ecosystem of Chile including  the endemic triatomine vector Mepraia spinolai (Drawings by Daniela Estay-Olea).


2017 - 2021. PI. The role of reservoirs and vectors on Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in semiarid Chile. ANID, FONDECYT-Chile.


Botto-Mahan C, Bacigalupo A, Correa JP, Fontúrbel FE, Cattan PE & Solari A. 2020. Prevalence, infected density or individual probability of infection? Assessing vector infection risk in the wild transmission of Chagas disease. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 287: 20193018. 

San Juan E, Araya-Donoso R, Sandoval-Rodríguez A, Yáñez-Meza A, Quiroga N & Botto-Mahan C. 2020. Lizards and rabbits may increase Chagas infection risk in the Mediterranean-type ecosystem of South America. Scientific Reports, 10: 1853. 

Garrido R, Bacigalupo A, Peña-Gómez F, Bustamante RO, Cattan PE, Gorla D & Botto-Mahan C. 2019. Potential impact of climate change on geographical distribution of two wild vectors of Chagas disease in Chile: Mepraia spinolai and Mepraia gajardoi. Parasites & Vectors, 12: 478.

Ihle-Soto C, Costoya E, Correa JP, Bacigalupo A, Cornejo-Villar B, Estadella V, Solari A, Ortiz S, Hernández HJ, Botto-Mahan C, Gorla DE & Cattan PE. 2019. Spatio-temporal characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi infection and discrete typing units infecting hosts and vectors from non-domestic foci of Central Chile. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 13: e7170.

Botto-Mahan C, Campos V & Medel R. 2017. Sex-dependent infection causes non-additive effects on kissing bug fecundity. Ecology & Evolution, 7: 3552-3557. 

Correa JP, Bacigalupo A, Fontúrbel F, Oda E, Cattan PE, Solari A & Botto-Mahan C.2015. Spatial distribution of an infectious disease in a native small mammal community. The Science of Nature, 102: 51. 

Oda E, Solari A & Botto-Mahan C. 2014. Effects of mammal host diversity and density in the infection level of a sylvatic kissing bug. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 28: 384-390.

Botto-Mahan C. 2009. Trypanosoma cruzi induces life-history trait changes in the wild kissing bug Mepraia spinolai: implications for parasite transmission. Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 9: 505-510.

Rozas M, Botto-Mahan C, Coronado X, Ortiz S, Cattan PE & Solari A. 2007. Co-existence of Trypanosoma cruzi genotypes in wild and peridomestic mammals in Chile. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 77: 647-653.

Botto-Mahan C, Cattan PE & Medel R. 2006. Chagas disease parasite induces behavioural changes in the kissing bug Mepraia spinolaiActa Tropica, 98: 219-223.

© Carezza Botto 2020