‘Kissing bug’

UF Health scientists study prevalence of Chagas disease among Latin Americans in Florida

By Bill Levesque
headshot Norman Beatty, M.D.
researchers Borja López-Gutiérrez, Ph.D., a UF postdoctoral researcher, holds a pipette that transfers serum samples for further testing to detect antibodies of the pathogen that causes Chagas disease. From left to right are lab manager Nicole Bender, López-Gutiérrez, research coordinator Rodrigo F. Alcala Arana and Norman Beatty, M.D. Lou Brems
bug A kissing bug specimen in a resin cube. Lou Brems
“My family was very afraid of Chagas disease. We tried to pray to avoid things like that. Since it’s really not known here, people don’t really check for it often or thoroughly.”
— Alcala Arana