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Parasitol Today. 1999 Oct;15(10):399-403.

Tsetse-trypanosome interactions: rites of passage.

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  • 1Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, UK EH25 9RG. sue.welburn@ed.ac.uk


Trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and T. b. gambiense) are entirely dependent on tsetse for their transmission between hosts, but the flies are not easily infected. This situation has not arisen by chance - the tsetse has evolved an efficient defence system against trypanosome invasion. In this review, Susan Welburn and Ian Maudlin chart the progress of trypanosomes through the fly and identify some of the hazards faced by both parasite and fly that affect vector competence of tsetse.

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