Latest Research News on Tsetse Fly : April 21

[1] The role of the trypanosomiases in African ecology. A study of the tsetse fly problem

Since the beginning of the century much work has been done on the problems presented by trypanosomiasis and the tsetse fly in Africa. The accounts of this work have been written mainly by the doctors, veterinarians and entomologists who have carried it out. Their aim has been the control or elimination of the disease. This has been attempted either directly by chemotherapeutic means (with or without the separation of the infected populations from the tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) that carry the disease), or indirectly by attacking and endeavouring to exterminate these vectors. This work has been inspired by the belief that, if trypanosomiasis were eliminated or controlled, the greatest hindrance to the development of tropical Africa would be removed. A review of the formidable bulk of literature that has resulted was given by BUXTON in 1955 [The natural history of tsetse flies this Bulletin, 1955, v. 52, 853], and this account has been brought up to date and combined with an equally comprehensive review of the parasitic and disease aspects of the problem in the book edited by MULLIGAN [The African trypanosomiases, 1970-this Bulletin, 1971, v. 68, abstr. 1893].

[2] The Effect of the TseTse Fly on African Development

The TseTse fly is unique to Africa and transmits a parasite harmful to humans and lethal to livestock. This paper tests the hypothesis that the TseTse reduced the ability of Africans to generate an agricultural surplus historically. Ethnic groups inhabiting TseTse-suitable areas were less likely to use domesticated animals and the plow, less likely to be politically centralized, and had a lower population density. These correlations are not found in the tropics outside of Africa, where the fly does not exist. The evidence suggests current economic performance is affected by the TseTse through the channel of precolonial political centralization. (JEL I12, N57, O13, O17, Q12, Q16, Q18)

[3] Biology of African trypanosomes in the tsetse fly

African trypanosomes present several features of interest to cell biologists. These include: a repressible single mitochondrion with a large mass of mitochondrial DNA, the kinetoplast; a special organelle, the glycosome, which houses the enzymes of the glycolytic chain; a surface coat of variable glycoprotein which enables the parasite to evade the mammalian host’s immune response; and a unique flagellum-to-host attachment mechanism associated with novel cytoskeletal elements. Trypanosome development during the life cycle involves cyclical activation and repression of genes controlling these activities. Understanding the complexity of parasite development in the tsetse fly vector is especially challenging but may help to suggest new methods for the control of trypanosomiasis.

[4] Impact of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activities on Hadejia-Jama’are Tsetse Fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) Ecology in Jigawa State, Nigeria

Aim: This study was aimed at identifying factors that influenced the apparent decimation of tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) population, eliminated human and decreased animal African trypanosomosis in Jigawa State, within Sahel-Sudano ecological zone of Nigeria.

Study Design: On the spot physical inspection, interviews and review of data on climate change, socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental variables were collated.

Result: Among the notable factors identified included human population density that resulted in the widespread agricultural crop farming and logging activities particularly within the forest reserves and available outgrowth of natural tree covers across the state. The Glosinna morsitans belt along Hadejia, Jama’are, D. Gaya and Katagun Rivers’ natural swath of riparian forest galleries have virtually been depleted. The area lacked thick continuous vegetation cover conducive for tsetse fly breeding. The key informants interviewed were unanimous that aerial wide insecticide spray with dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) eliminated tsetse flies along with game and aquatic animals. Prevalence of animal trypanosomoses in cattle in the state could be attributed to nomadic or transhumant animal management system. With reported absence of tsetse fly and no case of human African trypanosomoses for over two decades in the state corroborated the negative impact of climate change and anthropogenic activities on normalized vegetation index in the extinction of tsetse fly population in the Hadejia-Jama’are primordial sleeping sickness focus.

Conclusion: Extrapolated climate change data analysed over a longer period showed that tsetse suitability index in the area tends to zero due to a combination of high temperature and increased aridity and desertification. These factors in conjunction with past area wide insecticidal control have contributed to absence of tsetse fly and human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness in a  known primordial endemic foci. The documented cases of the disease in livestock have been attributed to the nomadic or transhumant animal management system.

[5] Tsetse and Other Biting Flies in Five Districts of Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna State, Nigeria


A survey of tsetse and other biting flies in Kaura LGA of Kaduna State was under taken. The study was undertaken to determine the presence of tsetse flies, species, their infection rate, distribution and other biting flies in the study area. The study was carried out between September and November, 2010. A total of six sampling sites were considered. The same number of traps was deployed in each sampling site during the study period. Twenty biconical and NITSE traps were used for trapping tsetse flies. A total of 104 biting flies were caught. These were made up of 32 tsetse flies, 55 Tabanus, 14 Stomoxys and 3 Chrysops species. Out of the 32 tsetse flies, 28 were identified to be Glossina palpalis (16 females and 12 males), while 4 were G. tachinoides (3 females and 1 male). The result of fly dissection showed 3 (9.4%) flies were infected with trypanosomes. Out of this number, 2(6.3%) were female G. p. palpalis and 1(3.2%) was a female G. tachinoides, all infected with T. vivax. The implication of this finding is that the preponderance of tsetse flies and other haematophagous flies, with potentials as mechanical transmitters of T. vivax, could indicate a high likelihood of trypanosomiasis in the study area.



[1] Ford, J., 1971. The role of the trypanosomiases in African ecology. A study of the tsetse fly problem. The role of the trypanosomiases in African ecology. A study of the tsetse fly problem.

[2] Alsan, M., 2015. The effect of the tsetse fly on African development. American Economic Review105(1), pp.382-410.

[3] Vickerman, K., Tetley, L., Hendry, K.A. and Turner, C.M.R., 1988. Biology of African trypanosomes in the tsetse fly. Biology of the Cell64(2), pp.109-119.

[4] Osue, H.O., 2017. Impact of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activities on Hadejia-Jama’are Tsetse Fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) Ecology in Jigawa State, Nigeria. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, pp.1-13.

[5] Dadah, A.J., Ikeh, E.I., Ayanbimpe, G., Omotainse, S.O., Dede, P.M. and Igweh, A.C., 2017. Tsetse and Other Biting Flies in Five Districts of Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Journal of Advances in Microbiology, pp.1-5.

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