Virulence in Trypanosoma congolense Savannah subgroup. A comparison between strains and transmission cycles

P Van den Bossche, S Chitanga, J Masumu, T Marcotty, V Delespaux

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


    Trypanosoma congolense strains have been shown to differ in their virulence both between subgroups and within the Savannah subgroup between strains. This review revisits these findings and complements them with information on the virulence of T. congolense Savannah subgroup strains isolated from cattle (domestic transmission cycle) in different geographical areas and of strains isolated in protected areas where trypanotolerant wildlife species are the reservoir of the trypanosomes (sylvatic transmission cycle). The virulence of a total of 62 T. congolense Savannah subgroup strains (50 domestic and 12 sylvatic), determined using a standard protocol in mice, was compared. Virulence varied substantially between strains with, depending on the strain, the median survival time of infected mice varying from 5 to more than sixty days. The proportion of highly virulent strains (median survival time < 10 days) was significantly (P = 0.005) higher in strains from the sylvatic transmission cycle. The analysis highlights repercussions of the domestication of the trypanosomiasis transmission cycle that may have to be taken in consideration in the development of trypanosomiasis control strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalParasite Immunology
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)456-460
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Animal diseases
    • Nagana
    • Trypanosoma congolense
    • Cattle
    • Livestock
    • Wildlife
    • Molecular epidemiology
    • Strains
    • Transmission dynamics
    • Virulence
    • Survival
    • Review of the literature
    • Zambia
    • Africa-Southern


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