Tsetse flies occur in much of sub-Saharan Africa where they are vectors of trypanosomes that cause human and animal African trypanosomosis. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is currently used to eliminate tsetse fly populations in an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) context in Senegal and Ethiopia. Three Glossina palpalis gambiensis strains [originating from Burkina Faso (BKF), Senegal (SEN) and an introgressed strain (SENbkf)] were established and are now available for use in future AW-IPM programmes against trypanosomes in West Africa. For each strain, knowledge of the environmental survival thresholds is essential to determine which of these strains is best suited to a particular environment or ecosystem, and can therefore be used effectively in SIT programmes.
In this paper, we investigated the survival and fecundity of three G. p. gambiensis strains maintained under various conditions: 25 °C and 40, 50, 60, and 75 % relative humidity (rH), 30 °C and 60 % rH and 35 °C and 60 % rH.
The survival of the three strains was dependent on temperature only, and it was unaffected by changing humidity within the tested range. The BKF strain survived temperatures above its optimum better than the SEN strain. The SENbkf showed intermediate resistance to high temperatures. A temperature of about 32 °C was the limit for survival for all strains. A rH ranging from 40 to 76 % had no effect on fecundity at 25–26 °C.
We discuss the implications of these results on tsetse SIT-based control programmes.
Tsetse flies; Area-wide integrated pest management; Sterile insect technique; Mass-rearing; Survival; Fecundity; Environmental conditions
Certain biting midges species of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are vectors of virus to livestock worldwide. Culicoides larval ecology has remained overlooked because of difficulties to identify breeding sites, methodological constraints to collect samples and lack of morphological tools to identify field-collected individuals to the species level. After the 2007 unforeseen outbreaks of African horse sickness virus (AHSV) in Senegal (West Africa), there is a need to identify suitable and productive larval habitats in horse farms for the main Culicoides species to evaluate the implementation of vector control measures or preventive actions.
We investigate twelve putative larval habitats (habitat types) of Culicoides inside and outside of three horse farms in the Niayes area of Senegal using a combination of flotation and emergence methods during four collection sessions.
Among the three studied horse farms, three habitat types were found positive for Culicoides larvae: pond edge, lake edge and puddle edge. A total of 1420 Culicoides individuals (519♂/901♀) belonging to ten species emerged from the substrate samples. Culicoides oxystoma (40 %), C. similis (25 %) and C. nivosus (24 %) were the most abundant species and emerged from the three habitat types while C. kingi (5 %) was only retrieved from lake edges and one male emerged from puddle edge. Culicoides imicola (1.7 %) was found in low numbers and retrieved only from pond and puddle edges.
Larval habitats identified were not species-specific. All positive larval habitats were found outside the horse farms. This study provides original baseline information on larval habitats of Culicoides species in Senegal in an area endemic for AHSV, in particular for species of interest in animal health. These data will serve as a point of reference for future investigations on larval ecology and larval control measures.
Culicoides; Larval habitats; Flotation technique; Senegal; African horse sickness
The role of the northward expansion of Culicoides imicola Kieffer in recent and unprecedented outbreaks of Culicoides-borne arboviruses in southern Europe has been a significant point of contention. We combined entomological surveys, movement simulations of air-borne particles, and population genetics to reconstruct the chain of events that led to a newly colonized French area nestled at the northern foot of the Pyrenees. Simulating the movement of air-borne particles evidenced frequent wind-transport events allowing, within at most 36 hours, the immigration of midges from north-eastern Spain and Balearic Islands, and, as rare events, their immigration from Corsica. Completing the puzzle, population genetic analyses discriminated Corsica as the origin of the new population and identified two successive colonization events within west-Mediterranean basin. Our findings are of considerable importance when trying to understand the invasion of new territories by expanding species.
Introduction of vector species into new areas represents a main driver for the emergence and worldwide spread of vector-borne diseases. This poses a substantial threat to livestock economies and public health. Culicoides imicola Kieffer, a major vector species of economically important animal viruses, is described with an apparent range expansion in Europe where it has been recorded in south-eastern continental France, its known northern distribution edge. This questioned on further C. imicola population extension and establishment into new territories. Studying the spatio-temporal genetic variation of expanding populations can provide valuable information for the design of reliable models of future spread.
Entomological surveys and population genetic approaches were used to assess the spatio-temporal population dynamics of C. imicola in France. Entomological surveys (2–3 consecutive years) were used to evaluate population abundances and local spread in continental France (28 sites in the Var department) and in Corsica (4 sites). We also genotyped at nine microsatellite loci insects from 3 locations in the Var department over 3 years (2008, 2010 and 2012) and from 6 locations in Corsica over 4 years (2002, 2008, 2010 and 2012).
Entomological surveys confirmed the establishment of C. imicola populations in Var department, but indicated low abundances and no apparent expansion there within the studied period. Higher population abundances were recorded in Corsica. Our genetic data suggested the absence of spatio-temporal genetic changes within each region but a significant increase of the genetic differentiation between Corsican and Var populations through time. The lack of intra-region population structure may result from strong gene flow among populations. We discussed the observed temporal variation between Corsica and Var as being the result of genetic drift following introduction, and/or the genetic characteristics of populations at their range edge.
Our results suggest that local range expansion of C. imicola in continental France may be slowed by the low population abundances and unsuitable climatic and environmental conditions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1426-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Culicoides; Distribution range; Spatio-temporal; Population genetics; Entomological survey; Mediterranean basin
The Government of Senegal has embarked several years ago on a project that aims to eradicate Glossina palpalis gambiensis from the Niayes area. The removal of the animal trypanosomosis would allow the development more efficient livestock production systems. The project was implemented using an area-wide integrated pest management strategy including a sterile insect technique (SIT) component. The released sterile male flies originated from a colony from Burkina Faso.
Monitoring the efficacy of the sterile male releases requires the discrimination between wild and sterile male G. p. gambiensis that are sampled in monitoring traps. Before being released, sterile male flies were marked with a fluorescent dye powder. The marking was however not infallible with some sterile flies only slightly marked or some wild flies contaminated with a few dye particles in the monitoring traps. Trapped flies can also be damaged due to predation by ants, making it difficult to discriminate between wild and sterile males using a fluorescence camera and / or a fluorescence microscope. We developed a molecular technique based on the determination of cytochrome oxidase haplotypes of G. p. gambiensis to discriminate between wild and sterile males. DNA was isolated from the head of flies and a portion of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I was amplified to be finally sequenced. Our results indicated that all the sterile males from the Burkina Faso colony displayed the same haplotype and systematically differed from wild male flies trapped in Senegal and Burkina Faso. This allowed 100% discrimination between sterile and wild male G. p. gambiensis.
This tool might be useful for other tsetse control campaigns with a SIT component in the framework of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) and, more generally, for other vector or insect pest control programs.
The Government of Senegal has embarked since several years on a project that aims to create a tsetse-free area in the Niayes. The project was implemented using an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) strategy where the sterile flies used for the sterile insect technique (SIT) component were derived from a colony originating from Burkina Faso. Monitoring the efficacy of the sterile male releases requires the discrimination between wild and sterile males that are sampled in monitoring traps. Before being released, sterile males were marked with a fluorescent dye powder. The marking was however not infallible with some sterile flies only slightly marked or some wild flies contaminated with a few dye particles in the monitoring traps, making it difficult to discriminate between wild and sterile males using a UV camera. We developed a molecular technique based on the cytochrome oxidase gene that efficiently discriminates between wild and sterile males. This tool might be useful for other tsetse control campaigns with a SIT component or for other vector or insect pest control programs.
Tsetse flies transmit trypanosomes that cause human and African animal trypanosomosis, a debilitating disease of humans (sleeping sickness) and livestock (nagana). An area-wide integrated pest management campaign against Glossina palpalis gambiensis has been implemented in Senegal since 2010 that includes a sterile insect technique (SIT) component. The SIT can only be successful when the sterile males that are destined for release have a flight ability, survival and competitiveness that are as close as possible to that of their wild male counterparts.
Tests were developed to assess the quality of G. p. gambiensis males that emerged from pupae that were produced and irradiated in Burkina Faso and Slovakia (irradiation done in Seibersdorf, Austria) and transported weekly under chilled conditions to Dakar, Senegal. For each consignment a sample of 50 pupae was used for a quality control test (QC group). To assess flight ability, the pupae were put in a cylinder filtering emerged flies that were able to escape the cylinder. The survival of these flyers was thereafter monitored under stress conditions (without feeding). Remaining pupae were emerged and released in the target area of the eradication programme (RF group). The following parameter values were obtained for the QC flies: average emergence rate more than 69%, median survival of 6 days, and average flight ability of more than 35%. The quality protocol was a good proxy of fly quality, explaining a large part of the variances of the examined parameters.
The quality protocol described here will allow the accurate monitoring of the quality of shipped sterile male tsetse used in operational eradication programmes in the framework of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign.
An area-wide integrated pest management campaign against Glossina palpalis gambiensis has been implemented in Senegal since 2010 that includes a sterile insect technique component. The sterile males used for the releases emerged from pupae that were produced and irradiated in Burkina Faso and Slovakia (irradiation done in Seibersdorf, Austria) and transported weekly under chilled conditions to Dakar, Senegal. Tests were developed to assess the quality (flight ability and survival) of sterile males. To assess flight ability, for each consignment a sample of 50 pupae (QC flies) was put in a cylinder filtering emerged flies that were able to escape the cylinder. The survival of these flyers was monitored under stress conditions. Remaining pupae (RF flies) were emerged and released in the target area of the eradication programme. The quality assessment of the QC flies was a good proxy of the quality of the RF flies. The quality protocol described here will allow the accurate monitoring of the quality of shipped sterile tsetse males used in operational eradication programmes.
Fragmentation of tsetse habitat in eastern Zambia is largely due to encroachments by subsistence farmers into new areas in search of new agricultural land. The impact of habitat fragmentation on tsetse populations is not clearly understood. This study was aimed at establishing the impact of habitat fragmentation on physiological and demographic parameters of tsetse flies in order to enhance the understanding of the relationship between fragmentation and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) risk.
A longitudinal study was conducted to establish the age structure, abundance, proportion of females and trypanosome infection rate of Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood (Diptera: Glossinidae) in areas of varying degrees of habitat fragmentation in Eastern Zambia. Black screen fly rounds were used to sample tsetse populations monthly for 1 year. Logistic regression was used to analyse age, proportion of females and infection rate data.
Flies got significantly older as fragmentation increased (p < 0.004). The proportion of old flies, i.e. above ovarian category four, increased significantly (P < 0.001) from 25.9 % (CI 21.4–31.1) at the least fragmented site (Lusandwa) to 74.2 % (CI 56.8–86.3) at the highly fragmented site (Chisulo). In the most fragmented area (Kasamanda), tsetse flies had almost disappeared. In the highly fragmented area a significantly higher trypanosome infection rate in tsetse (P < 0.001) than in areas with lower fragmentation was observed. Consequently a comparatively high trypanosomosis incidence rate in livestock was observed there despite lower tsetse density (p < 0.001). The overall proportion of captured female flies increased significantly (P < 0.005) as fragmentation reduced. The proportion increased from 0.135 (CI 0.10–0.18) to 0.285 (CI 0.26–0.31) at the highly and least fragmented sites, respectively.
Habitat fragmentation creates conditions to which tsetse populations respond physiologically and demographically thereby affecting tsetse-trypanosome interactions and hence influencing trypanosomosis risk. Temperature rise due to fragmentation coupled with dominance of old flies in populations increases infection rate in tsetse and hence creates high risk of trypanosomosis in fragmented areas. Possibilities of how correlations between biological characteristics of populations and the degree of fragmentation can be used to structure populations based on their well-being, using integrated GIS and remote sensing techniques are discussed.
Habitat fragmentation; Tsetse ecology; Trypanosomosis risk; Zambia
African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) is a major constraint to sustainable development of cattle farming in sub-Saharan Africa. The habitat of the tsetse fly vector is increasingly fragmented owing to demographic pressure and shifts in climate, which leads to heterogeneous risk of cyclical transmission both in space and time. In Burkina Faso and Ghana, the most important vectors are riverine species, namely Glossina palpalis gambiensis and G. tachinoides, which are more resilient to human-induced changes than the savannah and forest species. Although many authors studied the distribution of AAT risk both in space and time, spatio-temporal models allowing predictions of it are lacking.
We used datasets generated by various projects, including two baseline surveys conducted in Burkina Faso and Ghana within PATTEC (Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign) national initiatives. We computed the entomological inoculation rate (EIR) or tsetse challenge using a range of environmental data. The tsetse apparent density and their infection rate were separately estimated and subsequently combined to derive the EIR using a “one layer-one model” approach. The estimated EIR was then projected into suitable habitat. This risk index was finally validated against data on bovine trypanosomosis. It allowed a good prediction of the parasitological status (r2 = 67%), showed a positive correlation but less predictive power with serological status (r2 = 22%) aggregated at the village level but was not related to the illness status (r2 = 2%).
The presented spatio-temporal model provides a fine-scale picture of the dynamics of AAT risk in sub-humid areas of West Africa. The estimated EIR was high in the proximity of rivers during the dry season and more widespread during the rainy season. The present analysis is a first step in a broader framework for an efficient risk management of climate-sensitive vector-borne diseases.
African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) is a major constraint to sustainable development of cattle farming in sub-Saharan Africa. The habitat of the tsetse fly vector is increasingly fragmented owing to demographic pressure and shifts in climate, which leads to heterogeneous risk of transmission both in space and time. In Burkina Faso and Ghana, the most important vectors are riverine species that are more resilient to human-induced changes than savannah and forest tsetse species. Therefore, understanding the spatio-temporal distribution of AAT risk remains an important task in order to design effective disease management approaches. The model developed in this research provides a fine-scale picture of the dynamics of AAT risk in sub-humid areas of West Africa. The output of the model is a risk index, the entomological inoculation rate, and it was validated against bovine trypanosomosis data using regression analysis. Parasitological status of cattle was accurately predicted, serological status was positively correlated but less accurately, whereas clinical case was not related to EIR. Our results show that the risk was high in the proximity of rivers during the dry season and more widespread during the rainy season.
In Senegal, considerable mortality in the equine population and hence major economic losses were caused by the African horse sickness (AHS) epizootic in 2007. Culicoides oxystoma and Culicoides imicola, known or suspected of being vectors of bluetongue and AHS viruses are two predominant species in the vicinity of horses and are present all year-round in Niayes area, Senegal. The aim of this study was to better understand the environmental and climatic drivers of the dynamics of these two species. Culicoides collections were obtained using OVI (Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute) light traps at each of the 5 sites for three nights of consecutive collection per month over one year. Cross Correlation Map analysis was performed to determine the time-lags for which environmental variables and abundance data were the most correlated. C. oxystoma and C. imicola count data were highly variable and overdispersed. Despite modelling large Culicoides counts (over 220,000 Culicoides captured in 354 night-traps), using on-site climate measures, overdispersion persisted in Poisson, negative binomial, Poisson regression mixed-effect with random effect at the site of capture models. The only model able to take into account overdispersion was the Poisson regression mixed-effect model with nested random effects at the site and date of capture levels. According to this model, meteorological variables that contribute to explaining the dynamics of C. oxystoma and C. imicola abundances were: mean temperature and relative humidity of the capture day, mean humidity between 21 and 19 days prior a capture event, density of ruminants, percentage cover of water bodies within a 2 km radius and interaction between temperature and humidity for C. oxystoma; mean rainfall and NDVI of the capture day and percentage cover of water bodies for C. imicola. Other variables such as soil moisture, wind speed, degree days, land cover or landscape metrics could be tested to improve the models. Further work should also assess whether other trapping methods such as host-baited traps help reduce overdispersion.
Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are important vectors of arboviruses in Africa. Culicoides oxystoma has been recently recorded in the Niayes region of Senegal (West Africa) and its high abundance on horses suggests a potential implication in the transmission of the African horse sickness virus in this region. This species is also suspected to transmit bluetongue virus to imported breeds of sheep. Little information is available on the biology and ecology of Culicoides in Africa. Therefore, understanding the circadian host-seeking activity of this putative vector is of primary importance to assess the risk of the transmission of Culicoides-borne pathogens. To achieve this objective, midges were collected using a sheep-baited trap over two consecutive 24-h periods during four seasons in 2012. A total of 441 Culicoides, belonging to nine species including 418 (94.8 %) specimens of C. oxystoma, were collected. C. oxystoma presented a bimodal circadian host-seeking activity at sunrise and sunset in July and was active 3 h after sunrise in April. Daily activity appeared mainly related to time periods. Morning activity increased with the increasing temperature up to about 27 °C and then decreased with the decreasing humidity, suggesting thermal limits for C. oxystoma activity. Evening activity increased with the increasing humidity and the decreasing temperature, comprised between 20 and 27 °C according to seasons. Interestingly, males were more abundant in our sampling sessions, with similar activity periods than females, suggesting potential animal host implication in the facilitation of reproduction. Finally, the low number of C. oxystoma collected render practical vector-control recommendations difficult to provide and highlight the lack of knowledge on the bio-ecology of this species of veterinary interest.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00436-015-4534-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Culicoides oxystoma; Host-seeking activity; Animal-baited trap; African horse sickness; Bluetongue; Senegal
The application of the sterile insect technique (SIT) requires mass-production of sterile males of good biological quality. The size of the project area will in most cases determine whether it is more cost effective to produce the sterile flies locally (and invest in a mass-rearing facility) or import the sterile flies from a mass-rearing facility that is located in another country. This study aimed at assessing the effect of long distance transport of sterile male Glossina palpalis gambiensis pupae on adult male fly yield.
The male pupae were produced at the Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES), Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and shipped with a commercial courier service in insulated transport boxes at a temperature of ±10°C to Senegal (±36 h of transport). Upon arrival in the insectary in Dakar, the pupae were transferred to an emergence room and the flies monitored for 3–6 days.
The results showed that the used system of isothermal boxes that contained phase change material packs (S8) managed to keep the temperature at around 10°C which prevented male fly emergence during transport. The emergence rate was significantly higher for pupae from batch 2 (chilled at 4°C for one day in the source insectary before transport) than those from batch 1 (chilled at 4°C for two days in the source insectary before transport) i.e. an average (±sd) of 76.1 ± 13.2% and 72.2 ± 14.3%, respectively with a small proportion emerging during transport (0.7 ± 1.7% and 0.9 ± 2.9%, respectively). Among the emerged flies, the percentage with deformed (not fully expanded) wings was significantly higher for flies from batch 1 (12.0 ± 6.3%) than from batch 2 (10.7 ± 7.5%). The amount of sterile males available for release as a proportion of the total pupae shipped was 65.8 ± 13.3% and 61.7 ± 14.7% for batch 1 and 2 pupae, respectively.
The results also showed that the temperature inside the parcel must be controlled around 10°C with a maximal deviation of 3°C to maximize the male yield.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0869-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Area-wide integrated pest management; Sterile insect technique; Pupae development; Low temperatures; Pupae transport; Mass-rearing; Diptera; Glossinidae
The role of environmental factors in driving adaptive trajectories of living organisms is still being debated. This is even more important to understand when dealing with important neglected diseases and their vectors.
In this paper, we analysed genetic divergence, computed from seven microsatellite loci, of 614 tsetse flies (Glossina palpalis gambiensis and Glossina palpalis palpalis, major vectors of animal and human trypanosomes) from 28 sites of West and Central Africa. We found that the two subspecies are so divergent that they deserve the species status. Controlling for geographic and time distances that separate these samples, which have a significant effect, we found that G. p. gambiensis from different landscapes (Niayes of Senegal, savannah and coastal environments) were significantly genetically different and thus represent different ecotypes or subspecies. We also confirm that G. p. palpalis from Ivory Coast, Cameroon and DRC are strongly divergent.
These results provide an opportunity to examine whether new tsetse fly ecotypes might display different behaviour, dispersal patterns, host preferences and vectorial capacities. This work also urges a revision of taxonomic status of Glossina palpalis subspecies and highlights again how fast ecological divergence can be, especially in host-parasite-vector systems.
The role of environmental factors in driving adaptive trajectories of living organisms is still being debated. This is even more important to understand when dealing with important and /or neglected diseases and their vectors. In this paper, we analysed genetic divergence, computed from several genetic markers, of 614 tsetse flies (Glossina palpalis gambiensis and Glossina palpalis palpalis, major vectors of animal and human trypanosomes) from 28 sites of West and Central Africa. We found that the two subspecies are so divergent that they deserve the species status. We found that G. p. gambiensis from different landscapes (Niayes of Senegal, savannah and coastal environments) were significantly genetically different, and thus represent different adaptive entities or even subspecies. We also confirm that G. p. palpalis from Ivory Coast, Cameroon and DRC are strongly divergent. These results provide an opportunity to examine whether these different types of tsetse fly might display different behaviour, dispersal patterns, host preferences and vectorial capacities. This work also urges a revision of taxonomic status of Glossina palpalis subspecies and highlights again how fast ecological divergence can be, especially in host-parasite-vector systems.
African horse sickness (AHS) is an equine disease endemic to Senegal. The African horse sickness virus (AHSV) is transmitted to the mammalian hosts by midges of the Culicoides Latreille genus. During the last epizootic outbreak of AHS in Senegal in 2007, 1,169 horses died from this disease entailing an estimated cost of 1.4 million euros. In spite of the serious animal health and economic implications of AHS, very little is known about determinants involved in transmission such as contact between horses and the Culicoides species suspected of being its vectors.
The monthly variation in host/vector contact was determined in the Niayes area, Senegal, an area which was severely affected by the 2007 outbreak of AHS. A horse-baited trap and two suction light traps (OVI type) were set up at each of five sites for three consecutive nights every month for one year.
Of 254,338 Culicoides midges collected 209,543 (82.4%) were female and 44,795 (17.6%) male. Nineteen of the 41 species collected were new distribution records for Senegal. This increased the number of described Culicoides species found in Senegal to 53. Only 19 species, of the 41 species found in light trap, were collected in the horse-baited trap (23,669 specimens) largely dominated by Culicoides oxystoma (22,300 specimens, i.e. 94.2%) followed by Culicoides imicola (482 specimens, i.e. 2.0%) and Culicoides kingi (446 specimens, i.e. 1.9%).
Culicoides oxystoma should be considered as a potential vector of AHSV in the Niayes area of Senegal due to its abundance on horses and its role in the transmission of other Culicoides-borne viruses.
Animal health; Suspected vectors; Culicoides oxystoma; Culicoides imicola; Population dynamics
Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups – including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems – http://www.predicts.org.uk). We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015.
Data sharing; global change; habitat destruction; land use
In 2005, the Government of Senegal embarked on a campaign to eliminate a Glossina palpalis gambiensis population from the Niayes area (∼1000 km2) under the umbrella of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC). The project was considered an ecologically sound approach to intensify cattle production. The elimination strategy includes a suppression phase using insecticide impregnated targets and cattle, and an elimination phase using the sterile insect technique, necessary to eliminate tsetse in this area.
Three main cattle farming systems were identified: a traditional system using trypanotolerant cattle and two “improved” systems using more productive cattle breeds focusing on milk and meat production. In improved farming systems herd size was 45% lower and annual cattle sales were €250 (s.d. 513) per head as compared to €74 (s.d. 38) per head in traditional farming systems (p<10−3). Tsetse distribution significantly impacted the occurrence of these farming systems (p = 0.001), with 34% (s.d. 4%) and 6% (s.d. 4%) of improved systems in the tsetse-free and tsetse-infested areas, respectively. We calculated the potential increases of cattle sales as a result of tsetse elimination considering two scenarios, i.e. a conservative scenario with a 2% annual replacement rate from traditional to improved systems after elimination, and a more realistic scenario with an increased replacement rate of 10% five years after elimination. The final annual increase of cattle sales was estimated at ∼€2800/km2 for a total cost of the elimination campaign reaching ∼€6400/km2.
Despite its high cost, the benefit-cost analysis indicated that the project was highly cost-effective, with Internal Rates of Return (IRR) of 9.8% and 19.1% and payback periods of 18 and 13 years for the two scenarios, respectively. In addition to an increase in farmers' income, the benefits of tsetse elimination include a reduction of grazing pressure on the ecosystems.
In 2005, the Government of Senegal embarked on a campaign to eliminate a tsetse population from the Niayes area (∼1000 km2) around Dakar in order to intensify cattle production. Three main cattle farming systems are present in this area: a traditional system using trypanotolerant cattle and two “improved” systems using more productive trypano-sensitive cattle breeds. Whereas the size of the herds in improved cattle farming systems is more than twice lower than in a traditional system, the annual sales per head are threefold higher. Improved systems are more than fivefold less frequent in the tsetse infested sites than in the surrounding ones, showing that the risk posed by trypanosomosis is a major constraint to the intensification and innovation processes. Based on two scenarios of shift from traditional to improved systems after tsetse elimination, the benefit-cost analysis shows that, despite its relatively high cost, the project is highly cost-effective and will allow a reduction of grazing pressure on the ecosystems.
Beyond insecticides, alternative methods to control insect pests for agriculture and vectors of diseases are needed. Management strategies involving the mass-release of living control agents have been developed, including genetic control with sterile insects and biological control with parasitoids, for which aerial release of insects is often required. Aerial release in genetic control programmes often involves the use of chilled sterile insects, which can improve dispersal, survival and competitiveness of sterile males. Currently available means of aerially releasing chilled fruit flies are however insufficiently precise to ensure homogeneous distribution at low release rates and no device is available for tsetse.
Here we present the smart aerial release machine, a new design by the Mubarqui Company, based on the use of vibrating conveyors. The machine is controlled through Bluetooth by a tablet with Android Operating System including a completely automatic guidance and navigation system (MaxNav software). The tablet is also connected to an online relational database facilitating the preparation of flight schedules and automatic storage of flight reports. The new machine was compared with a conveyor release machine in Mexico using two fruit flies species (Anastrepha ludens and Ceratitis capitata) and we obtained better dispersal homogeneity (% of positive traps, p<0.001) for both species and better recapture rates for Anastrepha ludens (p<0.001), especially at low release densities (<1500 per ha). We also demonstrated that the machine can replace paper boxes for aerial release of tsetse in Senegal.
This technology limits damages to insects and allows a large range of release rates from 10 flies/km2 for tsetse flies up to 600 000 flies/km2 for fruit flies. The potential of this machine to release other species like mosquitoes is discussed. Plans and operating of the machine are provided to allow its use worldwide.
The African horse sickness epizootic in Senegal in 2007 caused considerable mortality in the equine population and hence major economic losses. The vectors involved in the transmission of this arbovirus have never been studied specifically in Senegal. This first study of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) species, potential vectors of African horse sickness in Senegal, was conducted at five sites (Mbao, Parc Hann, Niague, Pout and Thies) in the Niayes area, which was affected by the outbreak.
Two Onderstepoort light traps were used at each site for three nights of consecutive collection per month over one year to measure the apparent abundance of the Culicoides midges.
In total, 224,665 specimens belonging to at least 24 different species (distributed among 11 groups of species) of the Culicoides genus were captured in 354 individual collections. Culicoides oxystoma, Culicoides kingi, Culicoides imicola, Culicoides enderleini and Culicoides nivosus were the most abundant and most frequent species at the collection sites. Peaks of abundance coincide with the rainy season in September and October.
In addition to C. imicola, considered a major vector for the African horse sickness virus, C. oxystoma may also be involved in the transmission of this virus in Senegal given its abundance in the vicinity of horses and its suspected competence for other arboviruses including bluetongue virus. This study depicted a site-dependent spatial variability in the dynamics of the populations of the five major species in relation to the eco-climatic conditions at each site.
Vector-borne disease; Insect vectors; Spatial and temporal dynamics; Light traps; Culicoides oxystoma; Culicoides imicola; Africa; Arbovirus; Orbivirus; Equids
The Schultzei group of Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is distributed throughout Africa to northern Asia and Australasia and includes several potential vector species of livestock pathogens. The taxonomy of the species belonging to this species group is confounded by the wide geographical distribution and morphological variation exhibited by many species. In this work, morphological and molecular approaches were combined to assess the taxonomic validity of the species and morphological variants of the Schultzei group found in Senegal by comparing their genetic diversity with that of specimens from other geographical regions. The species list for Senegal was updated with four species: Culicoides kingi, C. oxystoma, C. enderleini and C. nevilli being recorded. This is the first record of C. oxystoma from Africa south of Sahara, and its genetic relationship with samples from Israel, Japan and Australia is presented. This work provides a basis for ecological studies of the seasonal and spatial dynamics of species of this species group that will contribute to better understanding of the epidemiology of the viruses they transmit.
Diagnosis of African animal trypanosomosis is vital to controlling this severe disease which hampers development across 10 million km2 of Africa endemic to tsetse flies. Diagnosis at the point of treatment is currently dependent on parasite detection which is unreliable, and on clinical signs, which are common to several other prevalent bovine diseases.
the repeat sequence of the GM6 antigen of Trypanosoma vivax (TvGM6), a flagellar-associated protein, was analysed from several isolates of T. vivax and found to be almost identical despite the fact that T. vivax is known to have high genetic variation. The TvGM6 repeat was recombinantly expressed in E. coli and purified. An indirect ELISA for bovine sera based on this antigen was developed. The TvGM6 indirect ELISA had a sensitivity of 91.4% (95% CI: 91.3 to 91.6) in the period following 10 days post experimental infection with T. vivax, which decreased ten-fold to 9.1% (95% CI: 7.3 to 10.9) one month post treatment. With field sera from cattle infected with T. vivax from two locations in East and West Africa, 91.5% (95% CI: 83.2 to 99.5) sensitivity and 91.3% (95% CI: 78.9 to 93.1) specificity was obtained for the TvGM6 ELISA using the whole trypanosome lysate ELISA as a reference. For heterologous T. congolense field infections, the TvGM6 ELISA had a sensitivity of 85.1% (95% CI: 76.8 to 94.4).
this study is the first to analyse the GM6 antigen of T. vivax and the first to test the GM6 antigen on a large collection of sera from experimentally and naturally infected cattle. This study demonstrates that the TvGM6 is an excellent candidate antigen for the development of a point-of-treatment test for diagnosis of T. vivax, and to a lesser extent T. congolense, African animal trypanosomosis in cattle.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-borne Flavivirus usually transmitted to wild birds by Culex mosquitoes. Humans and horses are susceptible to WNV but are dead-end hosts. WNV is endemic in Senegal, particularly in the Senegal River Delta. To assess transmission patterns and potential vectors, entomological and sentinel serological was done in Ross Bethio along the River Senegal. Three sentinel henhouses (also used as chicken-baited traps) were set at 100 m, 800 m, and 1,300 m from the river, the latter close to a horse-baited trap. Blood samples were taken from sentinel chickens at 2-week intervals. Seroconversions were observed in sentinel chickens in November and December. Overall, the serological incidence rate was 4.6% with 95% confidence interval (0.9; 8.4) in the sentinel chickens monitored for this study. Based on abundance pattern, Culex neavei was the most likely mosquito vector involved in WNV transmission to sentinel chickens, and a potential bridge vector between birds and mammals.
West Nile virus; sentinel chicken; mosquito; Culex; Senegal River Delta
In Chad, several species of tsetse flies (Genus: Glossina) transmit African animal trypanosomoses (AAT), which represents a major obstacle to cattle rearing, and sleeping sickness, which impacts public health. After the failure of past interventions to eradicate tsetse, the government of Chad is now looking for other approaches that integrate cost-effective intervention techniques, which can be applied by the stake holders to control tsetse-transmitted trypanosomoses in a sustainable manner. The present study thus attempted to assess the efficacy of restricted application of insecticides to cattle leg extremities using footbaths for controlling Glossina m. submorsitans, G. tachinoides and G. f. fuscipes in southern Chad.
Two sites were included, one close to the historical human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) focus of Moundou and the other to the active foci of Bodo and Moissala. At both sites, a treated and an untreated herd were compared. In the treatment sites, cattle were treated on a regular basis using a formulation of deltamethrin 0.005% (67 to 98 cattle were treated in one of the sites and 88 to 102 in the other one). For each herd, tsetse densities were monthly monitored using 7 biconical traps set along the river and beside the cattle pen from February to December 2009. The impact of footbath treatment on tsetse populations was strong (p < 10-3) with a reduction of 80% in total tsetse catches by the end of the 6-month footbath treatment.
The impact of footbath treatment as a vector control tool within an integrated strategy to manage AAT and HAT is discussed in the framework of the “One Health” concept. Like other techniques based on the treatment of cattle, this technology should be used under controlled conditions, in order to avoid the development of insecticide and acaricide resistance in tsetse and tick populations, respectively.
An integrated strategy of intervention against tsetse flies was implemented in the Upper West Region of Ghana (9.62°–11.00° N, 1.40°–2.76° W), covering an area of ≈18,000 km2 within the framework of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign. Two species were targeted: Glossina tachinoides and Glossina palpalis gambiensis.
The objectives were to test the potentiality of the sequential aerosol technique (SAT) to eliminate riverine tsetse species in a challenging subsection (dense tree canopy and high tsetse densities) of the total sprayed area (6,745 km2) and the subsequent efficacy of an integrated strategy including ground spraying (≈100 km2), insecticide treated targets (20,000) and insecticide treated cattle (45,000) in sustaining the results of tsetse suppression in the whole intervention area. The aerial application of low-dosage deltamethrin aerosols (0.33–0.35 g a.i/ha) was conducted along the three main rivers using five custom designed fixed-wings Turbo thrush aircraft. The impact of SAT on tsetse densities was monitored using 30 biconical traps deployed from two weeks before until two weeks after the operations. Results of the SAT monitoring indicated an overall reduction rate of 98% (from a pre-intervention mean apparent density per trap per day (ADT) of 16.7 to 0.3 at the end of the fourth and last cycle). One year after the SAT operations, a second survey using 200 biconical traps set in 20 sites during 3 weeks was conducted throughout the intervention area to measure the impact of the integrated control strategy. Both target species were still detected, albeit at very low densities (ADT of 0.27 inside sprayed blocks and 0.10 outside sprayed blocks).
The SAT operations failed to achieve elimination in the monitored section, but the subsequent integrated strategy maintained high levels of suppression throughout the intervention area, which will contribute to improving animal health, increasing animal production and fostering food security.
We document the impact of an integrated strategy of intervention against riverine tsetse flies in the Upper West Region of Ghana within the framework of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign, in an area of ≈18,000 km2. The strategy included a sequential aerosol technique (SAT) component, i.e. four applications of low-dosage deltamethrin aerosols, conducted along the three main rivers. The impact of SAT on tsetse densities was monitored in a challenging subsection (dense tree canopy and high tsetse densities) from two weeks before until two weeks after the operations. The SAT operations succeeded in reducing tsetse populations by 98% within one month but fell short of achieving elimination. Insecticide ground spraying, deltamethrin-treated targets and cattle were used as complementary tools to maintain tsetse suppression in the intervention area. An entomological survey conducted one year after SAT operations showed that both target species were still present, albeit at drastically reduced densities as compared to the baseline levels. This integrated strategy of intervention will contribute to improving animal health, increasing animal production and fostering food security in the target area.
In Burkina Faso, the cyclical vectors of African animal trypanosomoses (AAT) are riverine tsetse species, namely Glossina palpalis gambiensis Vanderplank (G.p.g.) and Glossina tachinoides Westwood (G.t.) (Diptera: Glossinidae). Experimental work demonstrated that environmental stress can increase the sensitivity of tsetse to trypanosome infection. Seasonal variations of the tsetse infection rates were monitored monthly over 17 months (May 2006–September 2007) in two sites (Douroula and Kadomba). In total, 1423 flies were dissected and the infection of the proboscis, middle intestine and salivary glands was noted. All the positive organs were analyzed using monospecific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. To investigate the role of different environmental factors, fly infection rates were analyzed using generalized linear mixed binomial models using the species, sex, and monthly averages of the maximum, minimum and mean daily temperatures, rainfalls, Land Surface Temperature day (LSTd) and night (LSTn) as fixed effects and the trap position as a random effect. The overall infection rate was 10% from which the predominant species was T. congolense (7.6% of the flies), followed by T. vivax (2.2% of the flies). The best model (lowest AICc) for the global infection rates was the one with the maximum daily temperature only as fixed effect (p < 0.001). For T. congolense, the best model was the one with the tsetse species, sex, maximum daily temperature and rainfalls as fixed effect, where the maximum daily temperature was the main effect (p < 0.001). The number of T. vivax infections was too low to allow the models to converge. The maturation rate of T. congolense was very high (94%), and G. t. harbored a higher maturation rate (p = 0.03). The results are discussed in view of former laboratory studies showing that temperature stress can increase the susceptibility of tsetse to trypanosomes, as well as the possibility to improve AAT risk mapping using satellite images.
vector competence; vector capacity; environmental stress; parasite extrinsic cycle; infection rate; maturation rate; temperature
In sub-Saharan countries infested by tsetse flies, African Animal Trypanosomosis (AAT) is considered as the main pathological constraint to cattle breeding. Africa has known a strong climatic change and its population was multiplied by four during the last half-century. The aim of this study was to characterize the impact of production practices and climate on tsetse occurrence and abundance, and the associated prevalence of AAT in Burkina Faso.
Four sites were selected along a South-north transect of increasing aridity. The study combines parasitological and entomological surveys. For the parasitological aspect, blood samples were collected from 1,041 cattle selected through a stratified sampling procedure including location and livestock management system (long transhumance, short transhumance, sedentary). Parasitological and serological prevalence specific to livestock management systems show a gradual increase from the Sahelian to the Sudano-Guinean area (P<0.05). Livestock management system had also a significant impact on parasitological prevalence (P<0.05). Tsetse diversity, apparent densities and their infection rates overall decreased with aridity, from four species, an apparent density of 53.1 flies/trap/day and an infection rate of 13.7% to an absence at the northern edge of the transect, where the density and diversity of other biting flies were on the contrary highest (p<0.001).
The climatic pressure clearly had a negative impact on tsetse abundance and AAT risk. However, the persistency of tsetse habitats along the Mouhoun river loop maintains a high risk of cyclical transmission of T. vivax. Moreover, an “epidemic mechanical livestock trypanosomosis” cycle is likely to occur in the northern site, where trypanosomes are brought in by cattle transhuming from the tsetse infested area and are locally transmitted by mechanical vectors. In Burkina Faso, the impact of tsetse thus extends to a buffer area around their distribution belt, corresponding to the herd transhumance radius.