Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome

Joshua B. Benoit, Zach N. Adelman, Klaus Reinhardt, Amanda Dolan, Monica Poelchau, Emily C. Jennings, Elise M. Szuter, Richard W. Hagan, Hemant Gujar, Jayendra Nath Shukla, Fang Zhu, M. Mohan, David R. Nelson, Andrew J. Rosendale, Christian Derst, Valentina Resnik, Sebastian Wernig, Pamela Menegazzi, Christian Wegener, Nicolai PeschelJacob M. Hendershot, Wolfgang Blenau, Reinhard Predel, Paul R. Johnston, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Robert M. Waterhouse, Ralf Nauen, Corinna Schorn, Mark Christoph Ott, Frank Maiwald, J. Spencer Johnston, Ameya D. Gondhalekar, Michael E. Scharf, Brittany F. Peterson, Kapil R. Raje, Benjamin A. Hottel, David Armisén, Antonin Jean Johan Crumière, Peter Nagui Refki, Maria Emilia Santos, Essia Sghaier, Sèverine Viala, Abderrahman Khila, Seung Joon Ahn, Christopher Childers, Chien Yueh Lee, Han Lin, Daniel S.T. Hughes, Elizabeth J. Duncan, Shwetha C. Murali, Jiaxin Qu, Shannon Dugan, Sandra L. Lee, Hsu Chao, Huyen Dinh, Yi Han, Harshavardhan Doddapaneni, Kim C. Worley, Donna M. Muzny, David Wheeler, Kristen A. Panfilio, Iris M. Vargas Jentzsch, Edward L. Vargo, Warren Booth, Markus Friedrich, Matthew T. Weirauch, Michelle A.E. Anderson, Jeffery W. Jones, Omprakash Mittapalli, Chaoyang Zhao, Jing Jiang Zhou, Jay D. Evans, Geoffrey M. Attardo, Hugh M. Robertson, Evgeny M. Zdobnov, Jose M.C. Ribeiro, Richard A. Gibbs, John H. Werren, Subba R. Palli, Coby Schal, Stephen Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has re-established itself as a ubiquitous human ectoparasite throughout much of the world during the past two decades. This global resurgence is likely linked to increased international travel and commerce in addition to widespread insecticide resistance. Analyses of the C. lectularius sequenced genome (650 Mb) and 14,220 predicted protein-coding genes provide a comprehensive representation of genes that are linked to traumatic insemination, a reduced chemosensory repertoire of genes related to obligate hematophagy, host-symbiont interactions, and several mechanisms of insecticide resistance. In addition, we document the presence of multiple putative lateral gene transfer events. Genome sequencing and annotation establish a solid foundation for future research on mechanisms of insecticide resistance, human-bed bug and symbiont-bed bug associations, and unique features of bed bug biology that contribute to the unprecedented success of C. lectularius as a human ectoparasite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10165
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Feb 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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