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Parasitology. 1994 Jul;109 ( Pt 1):95-111.

Epidemiological relationships of Trypanosoma brucei stocks from south east Uganda: evidence for different population structures in human infective and non-human infective isolates.

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Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Glasgow University Veterinary School.


This study represents an analysis of trypanosome strains circulating within a confined location over a short period of time during a sleeping sickness epidemic in S.E. Uganda. A large number of Trypanosoma brucei isolates (88) were collected from a variety of hosts (man, cattle, pigs and tsetse) from villages within a 10 km radius and were analysed for variation in isoenzyme patterns, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in repetitive DNA sequences and susceptibility to human serum. The human infective stocks form a clearly distinguishable population when compared with other stocks circulating in the domestic cattle reservoir. The data here support the occurrence of genetic exchange between the cattle stocks while an 'epidemic' population structure involving limited genetic exchange is a characteristic of the human infective stocks. Furthermore, it is shown that when both RFLP and isoenzyme analysis are carried out most stocks appear to have individual genotypes. Stocks which were formerly grouped as zymodemes are better considered as a collected of distinct individuals.

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