Biomedical Research

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Molecular identification of trypanosomes in tsetse flies trapped from Onicha Ugbo in Delta state of Nigeria

The delta region of Southern Nigeria is believed to be endemic for animal trypanosomiasis. Occasionally, cases of suspected human trypanosomiasis based on clinical presentation have been reported, thus we undertook survey of tsetse flies from the area with the purposes of typing the trypanosomes in the locality and demonstrating the possibility that human trypanosomiasis may be present in the area if the vector Trypanosoma gambiense is seen. A total of 429 flies were trapped; all were of Glossina palpalis palpalis specie. Sixty or 14.0% of them were found to be infected by trypanosomes. The infection rates were 7.7%, 1.6%, 1.6% and 6.3% for Trypanosoma vivax, Trypanosoma brucei brucei, Trypanosoma simiae and Trypanosoma congolense respectively. Mixed infections in various combinations were observed. There was no evidence of human infective Trypanosoma gambiense. The presence of various species of animal trypanosomes even as mixed infections confirms that the area is indeed endemic for animal trypanosomiasis. The simultaneous occurrence of Glossina palpalis. palpalis and Trypanosoma brucei brucei, however, makes it imperative to monitor the area continuously for human trypanosomiasis.

Author(s): Onyekwelu KC, Ejezie FE, Eze AA, Ikekpeazu JE, Isaac C, Ibegbu DM, Ogbunude POJ