The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an environment friendly and sustainable method to manage insect pests of economic importance through successive releases of sterile irradiated males of the targeted species to a defined area. A mating of a sterile male with a virgin wild female will result in no offspring, and ultimately lead to the suppression or eradication of the targeted population. Tsetse flies, vectors of African Trypanosoma, have a highly regulated and defined microbial fauna composed of three bacterial symbionts that may have a role to play in the establishment of Trypanosoma infections in the flies and hence, may influence the vectorial competence of the released sterile males. Sodalis bacteria seem to interact with Trypanosoma infection in tsetse flies. Field-caught tsetse flies of ten different taxa and from 15 countries were screened using PCR to detect the presence of Sodalis and Trypanosoma species and analyse their interaction. The results indicate that the prevalence of Sodalis and Trypanosoma varied with country and tsetse species. Trypanosome prevalence was higher in east, central and southern African countries than in west African countries. Tsetse fly infection rates with Trypanosoma vivax and T. brucei sspp were higher in west African countries, whereas tsetse infection with T. congolense and T. simiae, T. simiae (tsavo) and T. godfreyi were higher in east, central and south African countries. Sodalis prevalence was high in Glossina morsitans morsitans and G. pallidipes but absent in G. tachinoides. Double and triple infections with Trypanosoma taxa and coinfection of Sodalis and Trypanosoma were rarely observed but it occurs in some taxa and locations. A significant Chi square value (< 0.05) seems to suggest that Sodalis and Trypanosoma infection correlate in G. palpalis gambiensis, G. pallidipes and G. medicorum. Trypanosoma infection seemed significantly associated with an increased density of Sodalis in wild G. m. morsitans and G. pallidipes flies, however, there was no significant impact of Sodalis infection on trypanosome density.
- Insect Vectors/microbiology
- Trypanosomiasis, African/epidemiology
- Tsetse Flies/microbiology