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Int J Parasitol. 2008 Jan;38(1):93-101. Epub 2007 Jul 1.

Differential expression of fat body genes in Glossina morsitans morsitans following infection with Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK.


To determine which fat body genes were differentially expressed following infection of Glossina morsitans morsitans with Trypanosoma brucei brucei we generated four suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH) libraries. We obtained 52 unique gene fragments (SSH clones) of which 30 had a known orthologue at E-05 or less. Overall the characteristics of the orthologues suggest: (i) that trypanosome infection has a considerable effect on metabolism in the tsetse fly; (ii) that self-cured flies are mounting an oxidative stress response; and (iii) that self-cured flies are displaying increased energy usage. The three most consistently differentially expressed genes were further analysed by gene knockdown (RNAi). Knockdown of Glossina transferrin transcripts, which are upregulated in self-cured flies compared with flies infected with trypanosomes, results in a significant increase in the number of trypanosome infections establishing in the fly midgut, suggesting transferrin plays a role in the protection of tsetse flies from trypanosome infection.

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