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Population dynamics of Glossina palpalis gambiensis symbionts, Sodalis glossinidius, and Wigglesworthia glossinidia, throughout host-fly development

Soumana I.H., Berthier D., Tchicaya B., Thevenon S., Njiokou F., Cuny G., Geiger A.. 2013. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 13 (1) : p. 41-48.

DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2012.10.003

The tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae), the vector of trypanosomes causing human and animal trypanosomiasis, harbors symbiotic microorganisms including the primary symbiont Wigglesworthia glossinidia, involved in the fly's nutrition and fertility, and the secondary symbiont Sodalis glossinidius, involved in the trypanosome establishment in the fly's midgut. Both symbionts are maternally transmitted to the intrauterine progeny through the fly's milk gland secretions. In this study, we investigated the population dynamics of these symbionts during fly development. Wigglesworthia and Sodalis densities were estimated using quantitative PCR performed on Glossina palpalis gambiensis at different developmental stages. The results showed that the density of the primary Wigglesworthia symbiont was higher than that of Sodalis for all host developmental stages. Sodalis densities remained constant in pupae, but increased significantly in adult flies. The opposite situation was observed for Wigglesworthia, whose density increased in pupae and remained constant during the female adult stage. Moreover, Wigglesworthia density increased significantly during the transition from the pupal to the teneral stage, while mating had a contradictory effect depending on the age of the fly. Finally, tsetse fly colonization by both symbionts appears as a continuous and adaptive process throughout the insect's development. Last, the study demonstrated both symbionts of G. p. gambiensis, the vector of the chronic form of human African trypanosomiasis, to be permanent inhabitants of the colony flies throughout their life span. This was expected for the primary symbiont, Wigglesworthia, but not necessarily for the secondary symbiont, S. glossinidius, whose permanent presence is not required for the fly's survival. This result is of importance as Sodalis could be involved in the tsetse fly vector competence and may constitute a target in the frame of sleeping sickness fighting strategies.

Mots-clés : glossina palpalis; dynamique des populations; symbiote; enterobacteriaceae; relation hôte pathogène; transmission des maladies; vecteur de maladie; trypanosomose; maladie bactérienne; développement biologique; pcr; contrôle de maladies; génie génétique; burkina faso; cameroun; france; glossina palpalis gambiensis; sodalis glossinidius; wigglesworthia glossinidia; séquencage

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