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Diagnosis and genetic analysis of the worldwide distributed Rattus-borne Trypanosoma(Herpetosoma)lewisi and its allied species in blood andfleas ofrodents

Ortiz P.A., Garcia H.A., Lima L., da Silva F.M., Campaner M., Pereira C.L., Jittapalapong S., Neves L., Desquesnes M., Camargo E.P., Teixeira M.M.G.. 2018. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 63 : p. 380-390.

Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) lewisi is a cosmopolitan parasite of rodents strongly linked to the human dispersal of Rattus spp. from Asia to the rest of the world. This species is highly phylogenetically related to trypanosomes from other rodents (T. lewisi-like), and sporadically infects other mammals. T. lewisi may opportunistically infect humans, and has been considered an emergent rat-borne zoonosis associated to poverty. We developed the THeCATL-PCR based on Cathepsin L (CATL) sequences to specifically detect T. (Herpetosoma) spp., and assess their genetic diversity. This method exhibited high sensitivity using blood samples, and is the first molecular method employed to search for T. lewisi in its flea vectors. THeCATL-PCR surveys using simple DNA preparation from blood preserved in ethanol or filter paper detected T. lewisi in Rattus spp. from human dwellings in South America (Brazil and Venezuela), East Africa (Mozambique), and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR). In addition, native rodents captured in anthropogenic and nearby human settlements in natural habitats harbored T. (Herpetosoma) spp. PCR-amplified CATL gene fragments (253 bp) distinguish T. lewisi and T. lewisi-like from other trypanosomes, and allow for assessment of genetic diversity and relationships among T. (Herpetosoma) spp. Our molecular surveys corroborated worldwide high prevalence of T. lewisi, incriminating Mastomys natalensis as an important carrier of this species in Africa, and supported its spillover from invader Rattus spp. to native rodents in Brazil and Mozambique. THeCATL-PCR provided new insights on the accurate diagnosis and genetic repertoire of T. (Herpetosoma) spp. in rodent and non-rodent hosts, revealing a novel species of this subgenus in an African gerbil. Phylogenetic analysis based on CATL sequences from T. (Herpetosoma) spp. and other trypanosomes (amplified using pan-trypanosome primers) uncovered rodents harboring, beyond mammal trypanosomes of different subgenera, some species that clustered in the lizard-snake clade of trypanosomes.

Mots-clés : rongeur; siphonaptera; sang; génétique; trypanosomose; trypanosoma lewisi; rattus; venezuela (république bolivarienne du); cambodge; république démocratique populaire lao; thaïlande; mozambique; brésil

Thématique : Maladies des animaux; Autres thèmes; Organismes nuisibles des animaux

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