Tsetse flies are vectors of African trypanosomes, protozoan parasites that cause sleeping sickness (or human African trypanosomosis) in humans and nagana (or animal African trypanosomosis) in livestock. In addition to trypanosomes, four symbiotic bacteria Wigglesworthia glossinidia, Sodalis glossinidius, Wolbachia, Spiroplasma and one pathogen, the salivary gland hypertrophy virus ... [Show full abstract] (SGHV), have been reported in different tsetse species. We evaluated the prevalence and coinfection dynamics between Wolbachia, trypanosomes, and SGHV in four tsetse species (Glossina palpalis gambiensis, G. tachinoides, G. morsitans submorsitans, and G. medicorum) that were collected between 2008 and 2015 from 46 geographical locations in West Africa, i.e. Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Guinea, and Senegal.
The results indicated an overall low prevalence of SGHV and Wolbachia and a high prevalence of trypanosomes in the sampled wild tsetse populations. The prevalence of all three infections varied among tsetse species and sample origin. The highest trypanosome prevalence was found in Glossina tachinoides (61.1%) from Ghana and in Glossina palpalis gambiensis (43.7%) from Senegal. The trypanosome prevalence in the four species from Burkina Faso was lower, i.e. 39.6% in Glossina medicorum, 18.08%; in Glossina morsitans submorsitans, 16.8%; in Glossina tachinoides and 10.5% in Glossina palpalis gambiensis. The trypanosome prevalence in Glossina palpalis gambiensis was lowest in Mali (6.9%) and Guinea (2.2%). The prevalence of SGHV and Wolbachia was very low irrespective of location or tsetse species with an average of 1.7% for SGHV and 1.0% for Wolbachia. In some cases, mixed infections with different trypanosome species were detected. The highest prevalence of coinfection was Trypanosoma vivax and other Trypanosoma species (9.5%) followed by coinfection of T. congolense with other trypanosomes (7.5%). The prevalence of coinfection of T. vivax and T. congolense was (1.0%) and no mixed infection of trypanosomes, SGHV and Wolbachia was detected.
The results indicated a high rate of trypanosome infection in tsetse wild populations in West African countries but lower infection rate of both Wolbachia and SGHV. Double or triple mixed trypanosome infections were found. In addition, mixed trypanosome and SGHV infections existed however no mixed infections of trypanosome and/or SGHV with Wolbachia were found.
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