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.
Disruptive selection mediated by predation on aquatic immature stages has been proposed as a major force driving ecological divergence and fostering speciation between the M and S molecular forms of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. In the dry savannahs of West Africa where both molecular forms co-occur, the S form thrives in temporary pools filled with rainwater, whereas the M form preferentially breeds in permanent freshwater habitats where predator pressure is higher. Here, we explored the proximal mechanisms by which predation may contribute to habitat segregation between molecular forms using progeny of female mosquitoes captured in Burkina Faso. We show that the S form suffers higher predation rates than the M form when simultaneously exposed to the widespread predator, Anisops jaczewskii in an experimental arena. Furthermore, behavioral plasticity induced by exposure to the predator was observed in the M form, but not in the S form, and may partially explain its habitat use and ecological divergence from the S form. We discuss the role of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in allowing successful colonization of a new ecological niche by the M form and highlight further research areas that need to be addressed for a better understanding of the ultimate mechanisms underlying ecological speciation in this pest of major medical importance.
adaptation; Anopheles gambiae; behavior; habitat divergence; mosquito; notonectidae; phenotypic plasticity, predation; speciation
Restricted application of insecticides to cattle is a cheap and safe farmer-based method to control tsetse. In Western Africa, it is applied using a footbath, mainly to control nagana and the tick Amblyomma variegatum. In Eastern and Southern Africa, it might help controlling the human disease, i.e., Rhodesian sleeping sickness as well. The efficiency of this new control method against ticks, tsetse and trypanosomoses has been demonstrated earlier. The invention, co-built by researchers and farmers ten years ago, became an innovation in Burkina Faso through its diffusion by two development projects.
In this research, we studied the process and level of adoption in 72 farmers inhabiting the peri-urban areas of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. Variables describing the livestock farming system, the implementation and perception of the method and the knowledge of the epidemiological system were used to discriminate three clusters of cattle farmers that were then compared using indicators of adoption. The first cluster corresponded to modern farmers who adopted the technique very well. The more traditional farmers were discriminated into two clusters, one of which showed a good adoption rate, whereas the second failed to adopt the method. The economic benefit and the farmers' knowledge of the epidemiological system appeared to have a low impact on the early adoption process whereas some modern practices, as well as social factors appeared critical. The quality of technical support provided to the farmers had also a great influence. Cattle farmers' innovation-risk appraisal was analyzed using Rogers' adoption criteria which highlighted individual variations in risk perceptions and benefits, as well as the prominent role of the socio-technical network of cattle farmers.
Results are discussed to highlight the factors that should be taken into consideration, to move discoveries from bench to field for an improved control of trypanosomoses vectors.
Restricted application of insecticides to cattle is a cheap and safe farmer-based method to control tsetse and the diseases they transmit, i.e. human and animal African trypanosomoses. The efficiency of this new control method has been demonstrated earlier but no data is available on its perception and adoption intensity by farmers. We studied these two features in Burkina Faso, where the method has diffused thanks to two development projects. The study allowed identifying three groups of farmers with various adoption intensities, of which one was modern and two traditional. The economic benefit and the farmers' knowledge of the epidemiological system appeared to have a low impact on the early adoption process whereas some modern practices, as well as social factors appeared critical. The quality of technical support provided to the farmers had also a great influence on the adoption rate. The study highlighted individual variations in risk perceptions and benefits, as well as the prominent role of the socio-technical network of cattle farmers. The results of the study are discussed to highlight the factors that should be taken into consideration, to move discoveries from bench to field for an improved control of trypanosomoses vectors.
African animal trypanosomosis is a major obstacle to the development of more efficient and sustainable livestock production systems in West Africa. Riverine tsetse species such as Glossina palpalis gambiensis Vanderplank and Glossina tachinoides Westwood are the major vectors. A wide variety of control tactics is available to manage these vectors, but their removal will in most cases only be sustainable if the control effort is targeting an entire tsetse population within a circumscribed area.
In the present study, genetic variation at microsatellite DNA loci was used to examine the population structure of G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides inhabiting four adjacent river basins in Burkina Faso, i.e. the Mouhoun, the Comoé, the Niger and the Sissili River Basins. Isolation by distance was significant for both species across river basins, and dispersal of G. tachinoides was ∼3 times higher than that of G. p. gambiensis. Thus, the data presented indicate that no strong barriers to gene flow exists between riverine tsetse populations in adjacent river basins, especially so for G. tachinoides.
Therefore, potential re-invasion of flies from adjacent river basins will have to be prevented by establishing buffer zones between the Mouhoun and the other river basin(s), in the framework of the PATTEC (Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign) eradication project that is presently targeting the northern part of the Mouhoun River Basin. We argue that these genetic analyses should always be part of the baseline data collection before any tsetse control project is initiated.
Tsetse flies are insects that transmit trypanosomes to humans (sleeping sickness) and animals (nagana). Controlling these vectors is a very efficient way to control these diseases. In Burkina Faso, a tsetse eradication campaign is presently targeting the northern part of the Mouhoun River Basin. To attain this objective, the approach has to be area-wide, i.e. the control effort targets an entire pest population within a circumscribed area. To assess the level of this isolation, we studied the genetic structure of Glossina palpalis gambiensis and Glossina tachinoides populations in the target area and in the adjacent river basins of the Comoé, the Niger and the Sissili River Basins. Our results suggest an absence of strong genetic isolation of the target populations. We therefore recommend establishing permanent buffer zones between the Mouhoun and the other river basin(s) to prevent reinvasion. This kind of study may be extended to other areas on other tsetse species.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread pathogen maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds with occasional spill-over into dead-end hosts such as horses and humans. Migratory birds are believed to play an important role in its dissemination from and to the Palaearctic area, as well as its local dispersion between wintering sites. The Djoudj Park, located in Senegal, is a major wintering site for birds migrating from Europe during the study period (Sept. 2008- Jan. 2009). In this work, we studied the seasonal feeding behaviour dynamics of the potential WNV mosquito vectors at the border of the Djoudj Park, using a reference trapping method (CDC light CO2-baited traps) and two host-specific methods (horse- and pigeon-baited traps). Blood meals of engorged females were analysed to determine their origin.
Results indicated that Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. neavei may play a key role in the WNV transmission dynamics, the latter being the best candidate bridging-vector species between mammals and birds. Moreover, the attractiveness of pigeon- and horse-baited traps for Cx. neavei and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus varied with time. Finally, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus was only active when the night temperature was above 20°C, whereas Cx. neavei was active throughout the observation period.
Cx. neavei and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus are the main candidate vectors for the transmission of WNV in the area. The changes in host attractiveness might be related to variable densities of the migratory birds during the trapping period. We discuss the importance of these results on the risk of WNV transmission in horses and humans.
The tsetse fly Glossina palpalis gambiensis is the main vector of sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis - HAT) in West Africa, in particular in littoral Guinea where this disease is currently very active. The Loos islands constitute a small archipelago some 5 km from mainland Guinea, where G. p. gambiensis is well known as a nuisance and potential disease vector by inhabitants of the three main islands, Fotoba, Room, and Kassa. The National Control Program against HAT of Guinea has decided to eradicate tsetse in Loos islands in order to sustainably protect humans and economic activities. After baseline data collection, tsetse control began on the islands in 2006. On each of the three islands a specific combination of control methods was implemented according to the entomological situation found.
Starting densities before control operations were 10, 3 and 1 tsetse/trap/day in Kassa, Room and Fotoba respectively, but by July 2010, tsetse were no longer caught in any of the sentinel traps used for monitoring. The reduction rate was faster where several control methods were implemented as a combination (impregnated traps and targets ITT, selective groundspraying, epicutaneous insecticide treatment of pigs, and impregnated fences around pig pens), whereas it was slower when ITT were used as the only control method.
This 100% suppression is a promising step in the eradication process, but G. p. gambiensis may still occur at very low, undetectable, densities on the archipelago. Next step will consist in assessing a 0.05 probability of tsetse absence to ascertain a provisional eradication status. Throughout these operations, a key factor has been the involvement of local teams and local communities without whom such results would be impossible to obtain. Work will continue thanks to the partners involved until total eradication of the tsetse on Loos islands can be declared.
The Government of Senegal has initiated the “Projet de lutte contre les glossines dans les Niayes” to remove the trypanosomosis problem from this area in a sustainable way. Due to past failures to sustainably eradicate Glossina palpalis gambiensis from the Niayes area, controversies remain as to the best strategy implement, i.e. “eradication” versus “suppression.” To inform this debate, we used population genetics to measure genetic differentiation between G. palpalis gambiensis from the Niayes and those from the southern tsetse belt (Missira).
Three different markers (microsatellite DNA, mitochondrial CO1 DNA, and geometric morphometrics of the wings) were used on 153 individuals and revealed that the G. p. gambiensis populations of the Niayes were genetically isolated from the nearest proximate known population of Missira. The genetic differentiation measured between these two areas (θ = 0.12 using microsatellites) was equivalent to a between-taxa differentiation. We also demonstrated that within the Niayes, the population from Dakar – Hann was isolated from the others and had probably experienced a bottleneck.
The information presented in this paper leads to the recommendation that an eradication strategy for the Niayes populations is advisable. This kind of study may be repeated in other habitats and for other tsetse species to (i) help decision on appropriate tsetse control strategies and (ii) find other possible discontinuities in tsetse distribution.
Tsetse flies transmit trypanosomes to humans (sleeping sickness) and animals (nagana). Controlling these vectors is a very efficient way to contain these diseases. There are several strategies and methods that can be used for control, each being more or less efficient depending on several factors. The Government of Senegal wants to sustainably eliminate trypanosomosis from the Niayes region by controlling the tsetse vector, Glossina palpalis gambiensis. To reach this objective, two different strategies may be used: suppression (decrease in tsetse densities) or eradication (remove all the tsetse in the region until last one). For eradication, the approach has to be area-wide, i.e. the control effort targets an entire pest population within a circumscribed area, to avoid any possible reinvasion. Three different tools (microsatellite DNA, mitochondrial DNA and morphometrics) were used, and all showed an absence of gene flow between G. p. gambiensis from the Niayes and from the nearest known population in the south east of the country (Missira). This genetic isolation of the target population leads to the recommendation that an eradication strategy for the Niayes populations is advisable. This kind of study may be extended to other areas on other tsetse species.
A learning capacity for feeding is described in many insect species including vectors of diseases, but has never been reported in tsetse flies (Diptera, Glossinidae), the cyclic vectors of human (sleeping sickness) and animal trypanosomoses in Africa. Repeated feeding on the same host species by a disease vector is likely to increase the within-species disease-transmission risk, but to decrease it between species.
An experiment with cattle and reptiles in a stable provides evidence that the species of host selected for the second blood meal in tsetse flies depends on the host encountered for the first blood meal when the between-meal interval is 2 days. This preference disappears when the between-meal interval is extended to 3 days. The energetic advantages of this acquired preference and its importance in trypanosomoses epidemiology are discussed.
tsetse flies; trypanosomosis; feeding preference; learning