The ability of Wolbachia to cause these reproductive phenotypes allows them to spread efficiently and rapidly into host populations [4, 9]. Wolbachia has attracted much interest selleckchem for its role in biological, ecological and evolutionary processes, as well as for its potential for the development of novel and environment friendly strategies for the control of insect pests and disease vectors [15–22]. Tsetse flies, the
sole vectors of pathogenic trypanosomes in tropical Africa, infect many vertebrates, causing sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals . It is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that 60 million people in Africa are at risk of contracting sleeping sickness (about 40% of the continent’s population). The loss of local livestock from nagana amounts
to 4.5 billion U.S. dollars annually [24, 25]. Thanks to a vigorous campaign led by the WHO and various NGOs, the infected population has declined to an estimated 10,000, following epidemics that killed thousands of Africans . Given that the disease affects remote areas, it is, however, likely that many cases may remain unreported. Should active case finding and treatment be discontinued, it would be prudent to maintain vector surveillance and control measures to prevent (re)emergence of the disease as was witnessed in the early 1990’s in various parts INCB28060 cost of the continent [26, 27]. Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility has been suggested as a potential tool to suppress agricultural pests and disease vectors [8, 21, 22, 28–30]. Another potential control approach is based on a replacement SCH727965 strategy, where parasite-susceptible fly populations would be replaced with genetically modified strains that are unable to transmit the pathogenic parasites. Towards this end, a paratransgenic modification approach has been developed for tsetse flies. It has been possible to culture and genetically transform a tsetse flies symbiont, the commensal bacterium Sodalis glossinidius. The expression of biological anti-parasitic in Sodalis and reconstitution of tsetse flies with the recombinant symbionts can yield
modified parasite resistant flies [31, 32]. Methods that would 4��8C drive the modified insects into natural population are, however, necessary to implement this approach. To this end, greater insight in tsetse flies-symbiont interactions, with focus on their implications for biological control methods, is essential . The genus Wolbachia is highly diverse and is currently divided into 10 supergroups (A to K, although the validity of supergroup G is disputed) [34–40], while strain genotyping is most often based on a multi locus sequence typing system (MLST) which includes the sequences of five conserved genes (gatB, coxA, hcpA, ftsZ and fbpA), as well as on the amino acid sequences of the four hypervariable regions (HVRs) of the WSP protein . Species of the genus Glossina (Diptera: Glossinidae) including G. morsitans morsitans, G. austeni and G.