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Molecular identification of different trypanosome species and subspecies in tsetse flies of northern Nigeria

Clement Isaac, Marc Ciosi, Alana Hamilton, Kathleen Maria Scullion, Peter Dede, Igho Benjamin Igbinosa, Oyebiguwa Patrick Goddey Nmorsi, Dan Masiga, C Michael R Turner
Parasites & Vectors 2016 May 23, 9 (1): 301

BACKGROUND: Animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT) is caused by several species of trypanosomes including Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax, T. godfreyi, T. simiae and T. brucei. Two of the subspecies of T. brucei also cause Human African Trypanosomiasis. Although some of them can be mechanically transmitted by biting flies; these trypanosomes are all transmitted by tsetse flies which are the cyclical vectors of Trypanosoma congolense, T. godfreyi, T. simiae and T. brucei. We present here the first report assessing the prevalence of trypanosomes in tsetse flies in Nigeria using molecular tools.

METHODS: 488 tsetse flies of three species, Glossina palpalis palpalis, G. tachinoides and G. morsitans submorsitans were collected from Wuya, Niger State and Yankari National Park, Bauchi State in 2012. Trypanosomes were detected and identified using an ITS1 PCR assay on DNA purified from the 'head plus proboscis' (H + P) and abdomen (ABD) parts of each fly.

RESULTS: T. vivax and T. congolense Savannah were the major parasites detected. Trypanosomes prevalence was 7.1 % in G. p. palpalis, 11.9 % in G. tachinoides and 13.5 % in G. m. submorsitans. Prevalences of T. congolense Savannah ranged from 2.5 to 6.7 % and of T. vivax were approximately 4.5 %. Trypanosoma congolense Forest, T. godfreyi and T. simiae were also detected in the site of Yankari. The main biological and ecological determinants of trypanosome prevalence were the fly sex, with more trypanosomes found in females than males, and the site, with T. congolense subspp. being more abundant in Yankari than in Wuya. As expected, the trypanosome species diversity was higher in Yankari National Park than in the more agricultural site of Wuya where vertebrate host species diversity is lower.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that T. congolense Savannah and T. vivax are the main species of parasite potentially causing AAT in the two study sites and that Yankari National Park is a potential reservoir of trypanosomes both in terms of parasite abundance and species diversity.


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