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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Apr 28;11(4):e0005485. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005485. eCollection 2017 Apr.

Genetic diversity and population structure of the tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes (Diptera: Glossinidae) in Northern Uganda: Implications for vector control.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Gulu University, Gulu, Uganda.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
Division of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.


Uganda is the only country where the chronic and acute forms of human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) or sleeping sickness both occur and are separated by < 100 km in areas north of Lake Kyoga. In Uganda, Glossina fuscipes fuscipes is the main vector of the Trypanosoma parasites responsible for these diseases as well for the animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT), or Nagana. We used highly polymorphic microsatellite loci and a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) marker to provide fine scale spatial resolution of genetic structure of G. f. fuscipes from 42 sampling sites from the northern region of Uganda where a merger of the two disease belts is feared. Based on microsatellite analyses, we found that G. f. fuscipes in northern Uganda are structured into three distinct genetic clusters with varying degrees of interconnectivity among them. Based on genetic assignment and spatial location, we grouped the sampling sites into four genetic units corresponding to northwestern Uganda in the Albert Nile drainage, northeastern Uganda in the Lake Kyoga drainage, western Uganda in the Victoria Nile drainage, and a transition zone between the two northern genetic clusters characterized by high level of genetic admixture. An analysis using HYBRIDLAB supported a hybrid swarm model as most consistent with tsetse genotypes in these admixed samples. Results of mtDNA analyses revealed the presence of 30 haplotypes representing three main haplogroups, whose location broadly overlaps with the microsatellite defined clusters. Migration analyses based on microsatellites point to moderate migration among the northern units located in the Albert Nile, Achwa River, Okole River, and Lake Kyoga drainages, but not between the northern units and the Victoria Nile drainage in the west. Effective population size estimates were variable with low to moderate sizes in most populations and with evidence of recent population bottlenecks, especially in the northeast unit of the Lake Kyoga drainage. Our microsatellite and mtDNA based analyses indicate that G. f. fuscipes movement along the Achwa and Okole rivers may facilitate northwest expansion of the Rhodesiense disease belt in Uganda. We identified tsetse migration corridors and recommend a rolling carpet approach from south of Lake Kyoga northward to minimize disease dispersal and prevent vector re-colonization. Additionally, our findings highlight the need for continuing tsetse monitoring efforts during and after control.

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