JOURNAL ARTICLE

Population genetics of Glossina palpalis palpalis from central African sleeping sickness foci

Trésor Tito Tanekou T T Melachio, Gustave Simo, Sophie Ravel, Thierry De Meeûs, Sandrine Causse, Philippe Solano, Pascal Lutumba, Tazoacha Asonganyi, Flobert Njiokou
Parasites & Vectors 2011, 4: 140
21767402

BACKGROUND: Glossina palpalis palpalis (Diptera: Glossinidae) is widespread in west Africa, and is the main vector of sleeping sickness in Cameroon as well as in the Bas Congo Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, little is known on the structure of its populations. We investigated G. p. palpalis population genetic structure in five sleeping sickness foci (four in Cameroon, one in Democratic Republic of Congo) using eight microsatellite DNA markers.

RESULTS: A strong isolation by distance explains most of the population structure observed in our sampling sites of Cameroon and DRC. The populations here are composed of panmictic subpopulations occupying fairly wide zones with a very strong isolation by distance. Effective population sizes are probably between 20 and 300 individuals and if we assume densities between 120 and 2000 individuals per km2, dispersal distance between reproducing adults and their parents extends between 60 and 300 meters.

CONCLUSIONS: This first investigation of population genetic structure of G. p. palpalis in Central Africa has evidenced random mating subpopulations over fairly large areas and is thus at variance with that found in West African populations of G. p. palpalis. This study brings new information on the isolation by distance at a macrogeographic scale which in turn brings useful information on how to organise regional tsetse control. Future investigations should be directed at temporal sampling to have more accurate measures of demographic parameters in order to help vector control decision.

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