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Concept: Sterile insect technique


BACKGROUND: Specific land cover types and activities have been correlated with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense distributions, indicating the importance of landscape for epidemiological risk. However, methods proposed to identify specific areas with elevated epidemiological risk (i.e. where transmission is more likely to occur) tend to be costly and time consuming. This paper proposes an exploratory spatial analysis using geo-referenced human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) cases and matched controls from Serere hospital, Uganda (December 1998 to November 2002) to identify areas with an elevated epidemiological risk of HAT. METHODS: Buffers 3 km from each case and control were used to represent areas in which village inhabitants would carry out their daily activities. It was hypothesised that the selection of areas where several case village buffers overlapped would enable the identification of locations with increased risk of HAT transmission, as these areas were more likely to be frequented by HAT cases in several surrounding villages. The landscape within these overlap areas should more closely relate to the environment in which transmission occurs as opposed to using the full buffer areas. The analysis was carried out for each of four annual periods, for both cases and controls, using a series of threshold values (number of overlapping buffers), including a threshold of one, which represented the benchmark (e.g. use of the full buffer area as opposed to the overlap areas). RESULTS: A greater proportion of the overlap areas for cases consisted of seasonally flooding grassland and lake fringe swamp, than the control overlap areas, correlating well with the preferred habitat of the predominant tsetse species within the study area (Glossina fuscipes fuscipes). The use of overlap areas also resulted in a greater difference between case and control landscapes, when compared with the benchmark (using the full buffer area). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the overlap analysis has enabled the selection of areas more likely to represent epidemiological risk zones than similar analyses using full buffer areas. The identification of potential epidemiological risk zones using this method requires fewer data than other proposed methods and further development may provide vital information for the targeting of control measures.

Concepts: Sleeping sickness, Euglenozoa, Buffer, Sterile insect technique, Trypanosoma, Tsetse fly, Trypanosoma brucei, African trypanosomiasis


For the first time, differential attraction of pathogen vectors to vertebrate animals is investigated for novel repellents which when applied to preferred host animals turn them into non-hosts thereby providing a new paradigm for innovative vector control. For effectively controlling tsetse flies (Glossina spp.), vectors of African trypanosomosis, causing nagana, repellents more powerful than plant derived, from a non-host animal the waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa, have recently been identified. Here we investigate these repellents in the field to protect cattle from nagana by making cattle as unattractive as the buck.

Concepts: Host, Animal trypanosomiasis, African trypanosomiasis, Hippoboscoidea, East Africa, Sterile insect technique, Trypanosomiasis, Tsetse fly


Changes in agricultural practices and the resulting extinction of wildlife have led to the reduction or disappearance of savannah tsetse species. Riparian tsetse such as Glossina palpalis gambiensis Vanderplank 1949 and Glossina tachinoides Westwood 1850 (Diptera: Glossinidae) continue to persist in peridomestic sites, transmitting trypanosomiasis. At present, little is known about interspecies differences in feeding behaviour in these two species in southeast Mali, or of the phenomenon of multiple bloodmeals. To study these topics, 279 samples of G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides containing host DNA, caught in the Sikasso region between November 2008 and April 2009, were analysed by applying host species-specific primers and sequencing. Human accounted for > 66% of G. p. gambiensis bloodmeals, whereas G. tachinoides contained in equal parts DNA of human, cattle or both, showing a significantly higher proportion of multiple host use. Further, the trypanosome infection rate was found to be three-fold higher in G. tachinoides. Logistic regression analysis revealed double-feeding and infection to be independent of one another, but showed infection to be correlated with engorgement in G. p. gambiensis and female sex in G. tachinoides. Enhanced host-seeking activities paired with the high trypanosome infection rate found in G. tachinoides would indicate that this species has a higher vectorial capacity than G. p. gambiensis.

Concepts: Hippoboscoidea, Sterile insect technique, Host, Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Trypanosomiasis, African trypanosomiasis, Tsetse fly


This study tends to evaluate the efficacy of persimmon leaf extract) PL (as a rich plant source in modulation of radiation induced liver injury and some metabolic variations in gamma irradiated rats.

Concepts: Energy, Programming language, Sterile insect technique, Radiobiology, Oxidative phosphorylation, Photosynthesis, Food irradiation, Persimmon


Tsetse flies are the sole vectors of human African trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Both sexes of adult tsetse feed exclusively on blood and contribute to disease transmission. Notable differences between tsetse and other disease vectors include obligate microbial symbioses, viviparous reproduction, and lactation. Here, we describe the sequence and annotation of the 366-megabase Glossina morsitans morsitans genome. Analysis of the genome and the 12,308 predicted protein-encoding genes led to multiple discoveries, including chromosomal integrations of bacterial (Wolbachia) genome sequences, a family of lactation-specific proteins, reduced complement of host pathogen recognition proteins, and reduced olfaction/chemosensory associated genes. These genome data provide a foundation for research into trypanosomiasis prevention and yield important insights with broad implications for multiple aspects of tsetse biology.

Concepts: Organism, Vector, Sterile insect technique, DNA, Gene, Bacteria, African trypanosomiasis, Tsetse fly


Two goals have been set for Gambian human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), the first is to achieve elimination as a public health problem in 90% of foci by 2020, and the second is to achieve zero transmission globally by 2030. It remains unclear if certain HAT hotspots could achieve elimination as a public health problem by 2020 and, of greater concern, it appears that current interventions to control HAT in these areas may not be sufficient to achieve zero transmission by 2030. A mathematical model of disease dynamics was used to assess the potential impact of changing the intervention strategy in two high-endemicity health zones of Kwilu province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Six key strategies and twelve variations were considered which covered a range of recruitment strategies for screening and vector control. It was found that effectiveness of HAT screening could be improved by increasing effort to recruit high-risk groups for screening. Furthermore, seven proposed strategies which included vector control were predicted to be sufficient to achieve an incidence of less than 1 reported case per 10,000 people by 2020 in the study region. All vector control strategies simulated reduced transmission enough to meet the 2030 goal, even if vector control was only moderately effective (60% tsetse population reduction). At this level of control the full elimination threshold was expected to be met within six years following the start of the change in strategy and over 6000 additional cases would be averted between 2017 and 2030 compared to current screening alone. It is recommended that a two-pronged strategy including both enhanced active screening and tsetse control is implemented in this region and in other persistent HAT foci to ensure the success of the control programme and meet the 2030 elimination goal for HAT.

Concepts: Vector, Sterile insect technique, Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sleeping sickness, Epidemiology, Tsetse fly, African trypanosomiasis


Near infrared (NIR) photography and video was investigated as a method for observing and recording intrapuparial development in the tsetse fly Glossina palpalis gambiensis and other Muscomorpha (Cyclorrhapha) Diptera. We showed that NIR light passes through the puparium, permitting images of the true pupae and pharate adult to be captured. Various wavelengths of NIR light from 880 to 1060 nm were compared to study the development of tsetse fly pupae from larviposition to emergence, using time-lapse videos and photographs. This study was carried out to advance our understanding of tsetse pupal development, specifically with the goal of improving a sorting technique which could separate male from female tsetse flies several days before emergence. Separation of the sexes at this stage is highly desirable for operational tsetse sterile insect technique control programmes, as it would permit the easy retention of females for the colony while allowing the males to be handled, irradiated and shipped in the pupal stage when they are less sensitive to vibration. In addition, it presents a new methodology for studying the pupal stage of many coarctate insects for many applications. NIR imaging permits observation of living pupae, allowing the entire development process to be observed without disruption.

Concepts: Fly, African trypanosomiasis, Male, Tsetse fly, Sterile insect technique, Flies, Insect, Hippoboscoidea


Gambian sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis, HAT) outbreaks are brought under control by case detection and treatment although it is recognised that this typically only reaches about 75% of the population. Vector control is capable of completely interrupting HAT transmission but is not used because it is considered too expensive and difficult to organise in resource-poor settings. We conducted a full scale field trial of a refined vector control technology to determine its utility in control of Gambian HAT.

Concepts: Geoffrey Douglas Hale Carpenter, Vector, Trypanosome, Sleep disorder, Sterile insect technique, Sleeping sickness, Tsetse fly, African trypanosomiasis


To evaluate the relative effectiveness of tsetse control methods, their costs need to be analysed alongside their impact on tsetse populations. Very little has been published on the costs of methods specifically targeting human African trypanosomiasis.

Concepts: Sleep disorder, Trypanosomiasis, Geoffrey Douglas Hale Carpenter, Vector, Sterile insect technique, Sleeping sickness, Tsetse fly, African trypanosomiasis


Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) transmit parasitic African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma spp.), including Trypanosoma congolense, which causes animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT). AAT detrimentally affects agricultural activities in sub-Saharan Africa and has negative impacts on the livelihood and nutrient availability for the affected communities. After tsetse ingests an infectious blood meal, T. congolense sequentially colonizes the fly’s gut and proboscis (PB) organs before being transmitted to new mammalian hosts during subsequent feedings. Despite the importance of PB in blood feeding and disease transmission, little is known about its molecular composition, function and response to trypanosome infection. To bridge this gap, we used RNA-seq analysis to determine its molecular characteristics and responses to trypanosome infection. By comparing the PB transcriptome to whole head and midgut transcriptomes, we identified 668 PB-enriched transcripts that encoded proteins associated with muscle tissue, organ development, chemosensation and chitin-cuticle structure development. Moreover, transcripts encoding putative mechanoreceptors that monitor blood flow during tsetse feeding and interact with trypanosomes were also expressed in the PB. Microscopic analysis of the PB revealed cellular structures associated with muscles and cells. Infection with T. congolense resulted in increased and decreased expression of 38 and 88 transcripts, respectively. Twelve of these differentially expressed transcripts were PB-enriched. Among the transcripts induced upon infection were those encoding putative proteins associated with cell division function(s), suggesting enhanced tissue renewal, while those suppressed were associated with metabolic processes, extracellular matrix and ATP-binding as well as immunity. These results suggest that PB is a muscular organ with chemosensory and mechanosensory capabilities. The mechanoreceptors may be point of PB-trypanosomes interactions. T. congolense infection resulted in reduced metabolic and immune capacity of the PB. The molecular knowledge on the composition and putative functions of PB forms the foundation to identify new targets to disrupt tsetse’s ability to feed and parasite transmission.

Concepts: Metabolism, Organelle, Heart, Muscle, Sterile insect technique, Tsetse fly, Trypanosomiasis, African trypanosomiasis