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Quantifying heterogeneity in host-vector contact: tsetse (Glossina swynnertoni and G. pallidipes) host choice in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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Auty, Harriet, Cleaveland, Sarah, Malele, Imna, Masoy, Joseph, Lembo, Tiziana, Bessell, Paul, Torr, Steve ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9550-4030, Wellburn, Susan and Picozzi, Kim (2016) 'Quantifying heterogeneity in host-vector contact: tsetse (Glossina swynnertoni and G. pallidipes) host choice in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania'. PLoS ONE, Vol 11, Issue 10, e0161291.

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Abstract

Identifying hosts of blood-feeding insect vectors is crucial in understanding their role in disease transmission. Rhodesian human African trypanosomiasis (r-HAT or ‘sleeping sickness’) caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and transmitted by tsetse flies, is commonly associated with wilderness areas of east and southern Africa. Such areas hold a diverse range of species which form communities of hosts for disease maintenance. The relative importance of different wildlife hosts remains unclear. This study quantified tsetse feeding preferences in a wilderness area of great host species richness, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, assessing tsetse feeding and host density contemporaneously.
Glossina swynnertoni and G.pallidipes were collected from six study sites. Bloodmeal sources were identified through matching Cytochrome B sequences amplified from bloodmeals from fed flies to published sequences. Densities of large mammal species in each site were quantified, and feeding indices calculated to assess the relative selection or avoidance of each host species by tsetse.
The host species most commonly identified in G. swynnertoni bloodmeals, warthog (94/220), buffalo (48/220) and giraffe (46/220), were found at relatively low densities (3-11/km2) and fed on up to 15 times more frequently than expected by their relative density. Wildebeest, zebra, impala and Thomson’s gazelle, found at the highest densities, were never identified in bloodmeals. Commonly identified hosts for G. pallidipes were buffalo (26/46), giraffe (9/46) and elephant (5/46).
This study is the first to quantify tsetse host range by molecular analysis of tsetse diet with simultaneous assessment of host density in a wilderness area. Although G.swynnertoni and G.pallidipes can feed on a range of species, they are highly selective. Many host species are rarely fed on, despite being present in areas where tsetse are abundant. These feeding patterns, along with the ability of key host species to maintain and transmit T.b.rhodesiense, drive the epidemiology of r-HAT in wilderness areas.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 505 Diptera
QX Parasitology > Protozoa > QX 70 Mastigophora. (e.g., Giardia. Trichomonas. Trypanosoma. Leishmania)
WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 705 Trypanosomiasis
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161291
Depositing User: Carmel Bates
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 11:35
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:13
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/6222

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