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Host genetics in african trypanosomiasis

Courtin D., Berthier D., Thevenon S., Dayo G.K., Garcia A., Bucheton B.. 2008. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 8 (3) : p. 229-238.

DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2008.02.007

In Africa, the protozoan parasite of the genus Trypanosoma causes animal (AAT) and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). These diseases are responsible for considerable mortality and economic losses, and until now the drugs commonly used have often been very toxic and expensive, with no vaccine available. A range of clinical presentations, from chronic to acute symptoms, is observed in both AAT and HAT. Host, parasite, and environmental factors are likely to be involved in this clinical variability. In AAT, some West African cattle (N¿Dama, Bos taurus) have the ability to better control the disease development (and therefore to remain productive) than other taurine breeds (Zebu, Bos indicus). This phenomenon is called trypanotolerance and seems to have major genetic components. In humans, tolerance/resistance to the disease is suspected, however, this needs confirmation. This review focuses on recent advances made in the field of host genetics in African trypanosomiasis in animals (mouse and bovine) and humans. The perspectives for the development of new control strategies and their applications as well as a better understanding of the physiopathology of the disease are discussed.

Mots-clés : trypanosoma; Épidémiologie; résistance aux maladies; hôte; génétique; genre humain; souris; bovin

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