Purpose Surra is an economically important livestock disease in many low- and middle-income countries, including those of Northern Africa. The disease is caused by the biting fly-transmitted subspecies Trypanosoma brucei evansi, which is very closely related to the tsetse-transmitted subspecies T. b. brucei and the sexually transmitted subspecies T. b. equiperdum. At least two phylogenetically distinct groups of T. b. evansi can be distinguished, called type A and type B. These evolved from T. b. brucei independently. The close relationships between the T. brucei subspecies and the multiple evolutionary origins of T. b. evansi pose diagnostic challenges. Methods Here we use previously established and newly developed PCR assays based on nuclear and mitochondrial genetic markers to type the causative agent of recent trypanosome infections of camels in Southern Algeria. Results/conclusion We confirm that these infections have been caused by T. b. evansi type A. We also report a newly designed PCR assay specific for T. b. evansi type A that we expect will be of diagnostic use for the community.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction