Trypanosome-associated changes in tsetse fly salivary gland and its impact on parasite development

    Project Details


    For their development and transmission, African trypanosomes rely on their vector, the tsetse fly (Glossina sp.). In order to complete the life cycle, trypanosomes have to pass several bottlenecks in the tsetse fly to achieve maturation. Indeed, a series of barriers have to be overcome by Trypanosoma brucei parasites in order to colonize subsequently the midgut and salivary glands. Understanding the interactions between trypanosomes and the tsetse fly is of great interest to find efficient ways to minimise or block the transmission. Unravelling the innate immune responses in tsetse flies fat body, midgut and proventriculus has been the aim of a number of studies. However, no data are currently available about the salivary gland as an active immune-responsive tissue.
    The main goal of this project is to understand the trypanosome-associated modulation of immune-related processes in the tsetse fly salivary gland. To achieve this, a comparative transcriptome analysis of the salivary glands of non-infected and T. brucei-infected flies will be undertaken. This will enable gaining novel insights into key salivary genes that are differentially expressed upon parasite infection and provide information on saliva as the biologically active fluid vehicle that introduces the metacyclic trypanosomes into the mammalian host. This study will also analyse in detail the role of a family of immune-active salivary proteins, the fibrinogen-related domain proteins (FREPs).
    Effective start/end date4/02/1315/06/18

    IWETO expertise domain

    • B780-tropical-medicine