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Parasit Vectors. 2017 May 30;10(1):268. doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2201-x.

Genetic diversity of Glossina fuscipes fuscipes along the shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania and Kenya: implications for management.

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Vector and Vector Borne Disease Institute, P. O. Box 1026, Tanga, Tanzania.
Department of Zoology, University of Dar es Salaam, P. O. Box 35064, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Africa Technical Research Centre, Vector Health International, P.O. Box 15500, Arusha, Tanzania.
Biotechnology Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, P.O. Box 362-00902, Kikuyu, Kenya.
Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA), P. O. Box 9154, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Vector and Vector Borne Disease Institute, P. O. Box 1026, Tanga, Tanzania.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced, CA, USA.
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT, USA.



Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are sole vectors for trypanosomiasis, which affect human health and livestock productivity in Africa. Little is known about the genetic diversity of Glossina fuscipes fuscipes, which is an important species in Tanzania and Kenya. The main objective of the study was to provide baseline data to determine the genetic variability and divergence of G. f. fuscipes in the Lake Victoria basin of Tanzania and Kenya in order to guide future vector control efforts in the region.


Two hundred and seventy five G. f. fuscipes from 8 sites along the shores of Lake Victoria were screened for genetic polymorphisms at 19 microsatellite loci. Samples were collected from two sites in Kenya and six sites in Tanzania. Four of the Tanzanian sites were located in the Rorya district, on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria, while the other two sites were from Ukerewe and Bukoba districts from the southern and western Lake Victoria shores, respectively. Four genetically distinct allopatric clusters were revealed by microsatellite analysis, which sorted the sampling sites according to geography, with sites separated by as little as ~65 km belonging to distinct genetic clusters, while samples located within ~35 km from each other group in the same cluster.


Our results suggest that there is ongoing genetic admixture within sampling sites located ~35 km from each other, while sites located ~65 km apart are genetically isolated from each other. Similar patterns emerged from a parallel study on G. f. fuscipes analyzed from the Lake Victoria Uganda shores. From a control perspective these results suggest that for sites within the same genetic cluster, control efforts should be carried out in a coordinated fashion in order to avoid re-invasions. Future work should focus on better quantifying the extent and spatial patterns of the observed genetic discontinuities of the G. f. fuscipes populations along the Tanzanian shores. This will aid in their control by providing guidelines on the geographical extent of the area to be treated at the same time.


Glossina fuscipes fuscipes; Lake Victoria basin; Microsatellite genetic diversity; Trypanosomiasis; Tsetse flies

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