Shifting from wild to domestic hosts: the effect on the transmission of Trypanosoma congolense to tsetse flies

S. Chitanga, B. Namangala, R. De Deken, T. Marcotty

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    The epidemiology and impact of animal African trypanosomosis is influenced by the transmissibility and the pathogenicity of the circulating trypanosome strains in a particular biotope. The transmissibility of 22T. congolense strains isolated from domestic and wild animals was evaluated in a total of 1213 flies. Multivariate mixed models were used to compare infection and maturation rates in function of trypanosome origin (domestic or sylvatic) and pathogenicity. Both trypanosome pathogenicity and origin significantly affected the ability to establish a midgut infection in tsetse flies but not the maturation rates. The interaction between pathogenicity and origin was not significant. Since being pathogenic and having a domestic origin both increased transmissibility, dominant lowly pathogenic trypanosomes from domestic environments and highly pathogenic trypanosomes from sylvatic environments presented similar levels of transmissibility: 12% and 15%, respectively. Blood meals with parasite concentration ranging from 0,05 to 50 trypanosomes/mul blood for 3 strains of T. congolense were provided to different batches of tsetse flies to evaluate the relationship between the parasite load in blood meals and the likelihood for a fly to become infected. A linear relationship between parasite load and transmissibility was observed at low parasitaemia and a plateau was observed for meals containing more than 5 trypanosomes/mul. Maximum transmission was reached with 12,5 trypanosomes/mul blood. About 50% of the flies were refractory to T. congolense, whatever their concentration in the blood meal. The results suggest that the dose - transmissibility relationship presents a similar profile for different T. congolense isolates.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Tropica
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)32-36
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Animal diseases
    • Nagana
    • Trypanosoma congolense
    • Vectors
    • Tsetse flies
    • Glossina morsitans
    • Epidemiology
    • Impact
    • Evaluation
    • Transmissibility
    • Strains
    • Domestic animals
    • Cattle
    • Livestock
    • Wildlife
    • Wild animals
    • Infection rates
    • Maturation
    • Pathogenicity
    • Origin
    • Bloodmeal
    • Concentration
    • Parasite density
    • Infectivity
    • Refractoriness


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