Trypanosoma teixeirae: A new species belonging to the T. cruzi clade causing trypanosomosis in an Australian little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus).
ABSTRACT: Little is known about the genetic diversity and pathogenicity of trypanosomes in Australian bats. Recently a novel trypanosome species was identified in an adult female little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) with clinical and pathological evidence of trypanosomosis. The present study used morphology and molecular methods to demonstrate that this trypanosome is a distinct species and we propose the name Trypanosoma teixeirae sp. n. Morphological comparison showed that its circulating trypomastigotes were significantly different from those of Trypanosoma pteropi and Trypanosoma hipposideri, two species previously described from Australian bats. Genetic information was not available for T. pteropi and T. hipposideri but phylogenetic analyses at the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) loci indicated that T. teixeirae sp. n. was genetically distinct and clustered with other bat-derived trypanosome species within the Trypanosoma cruzi clade.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bat trypanosomes are implicated in the evolution of the T. cruzi clade, which harbours most African, European and American trypanosomes from bats and other trypanosomes from African, Australian and American terrestrial mammals, including T. cruzi and T. rangeli, the agents of the American human trypanosomiasis. The diversity of bat trypanosomes globally is still poorly understood, and the common ancestor, geographical origin, and evolution of species within the T. cruzi clade remain largely unresolved. METHODS:Trypanosome sequences were obtained from cultured parasites and from museum archived liver/blood samples of bats captured from Guatemala (Central America) to the Brazilian Atlantic Coast. Phylogenies were inferred using Small Subunit (SSU) rRNA, glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH), and Spliced Leader (SL) RNA genes. RESULTS:Here, we described Trypanosoma wauwau n. sp. from Pteronotus bats (Mormoopidae) placed in the T. cruzi clade, then supporting the bat-seeding hypothesis whereby the common ancestor of this clade likely was a bat trypanosome. T. wauwau was sister to the clade T. spp-Neobats from phyllostomid bats forming an assemblage of trypanosome species exclusively of Noctilionoidea Neotropical bats, which was sister to an Australian clade of trypanosomes from indigenous marsupials and rodents, which possibly evolved from a bat trypanosome. T. wauwau was found in 26.5% of the Pteronotus bats examined, and phylogeographical analysis evidenced the wide geographical range of this species. To date, this species was not detected in other bats, including those that were sympatric or shared shelters with Pteronotus. T. wauwau did not develop within mammalian cells, and was not infective to Balb/c mice or to triatomine vectors of T. cruzi and T. rangeli. CONCLUSIONS:Trypanosoma wauwau n. sp. was linked to Pteronotus bats. The positioning of the clade T. wauwau/T.spp-Neobats as the most basal Neotropical bat trypanosomes and closely related to an Australian lineage of trypanosomes provides additional evidence that the T. cruzi clade trypanosomes likely evolved from bats, and were dispersed in bats within and between continents from ancient to unexpectedly recent times.
Project description:Bat trypanosomes consist of more than 30 trypanosome species from over 70 species of bats. Recent studies suggest that bats play a role in disseminating trypanosomes from African continent to the terrestrial mammals both in the Afrotropic-Palearctic Ecozones and Nearctic Ecozone. However, the diversity, distribution, and evolution of bat trypanosomes are still unclear. To better understand their evolution, more genetic data of bat trypanosomes from a variety of locations are required. During a survey of Borrelia spp. of bats inhabiting a cave in Zambia, we observed flagellate parasites from 5 of 43 hemocultures. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the glycosomal glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (gGAPDH; 572 bp) and the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rRNA gene; 1,079-1,091 bp) revealed that all were Trypanosoma spp. belonged to the Trypanosoma cruzi clade. Three and two of them exhibited the similarity with T. conorhini and T. dionisii, respectively. The present study provides the first genetic data on Trypanosoma spp. of bats inhabiting Zambia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bat trypanosomes have been implicated in the evolutionary history of the T. cruzi clade, which comprises species from a wide geographic and host range in South America, Africa and Europe, including bat-restricted species and the generalist agents of human American trypanosomosis T. cruzi and T. rangeli. METHODS: Trypanosomes from bats (Rhinolophus landeri and Hipposideros caffer) captured in Mozambique, southeast Africa, were isolated by hemoculture. Barcoding was carried out through the V7V8 region of Small Subunit (SSU) rRNA and Fluorescent Fragment Length barcoding (FFLB). Phylogenetic inferences were based on SSU rRNA, glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) and Spliced Leader (SL) genes. Morphological characterization included light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: New trypanosomes from bats clustered together forming a clade basal to a larger assemblage called the T. cruzi clade. Barcoding, phylogenetic analyses and genetic distances based on SSU rRNA and gGAPDH supported these trypanosomes as a new species, which we named Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. The large and highly polymorphic SL gene repeats of this species showed a copy of the 5S ribosomal RNA into the intergenic region. Unique morphological (large and broad blood trypomastigotes compatible to species of the subgenus Megatrypanum and cultures showing highly pleomorphic epimastigotes and long and slender trypomastigotes) and ultrastructural (cytostome and reservosomes) features and growth behaviour (when co-cultivated with HeLa cells at 37°C differentiated into trypomastigotes resembling the blood forms and do not invaded the cells) complemented the description of this species. CONCLUSION: Phylogenetic inferences supported the hypothesis that Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. diverged from a common ancestral bat trypanosome that evolved exclusively in Chiroptera or switched at independent opportunities to mammals of several orders forming the clade T. cruzi, hence, providing further support for the bat seeding hypothesis to explain the origin of T. cruzi and T. rangeli.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is the largest Brazilian mammal and despite being distributed in various Brazilian biomes, it is seriously endangered in the Atlantic Rainforest. These hosts were never evaluated for the presence of Trypanosoma parasites. METHODS:The Lowland tapirs were captured in the Brazilian southeastern Atlantic Rainforest, Espírito Santo state. Trypanosomes were isolated by hemoculture, and the molecular phylogeny based on small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) and glycosomal-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) gene sequences and the ultrastructural features seen via light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy are described. RESULTS:Phylogenetic trees using combined SSU rDNA and gGAPDH data sets clustered the trypanosomes of Lowland tapirs, which were highly divergent from other trypanosome species. The phylogenetic position and morphological discontinuities, mainly in epimastigote culture forms, made it possible to classify the trypanosomes from Lowland tapirs as a separate species. CONCLUSIONS:The isolated trypanosomes from Tapirus terrestris are a new species, Trypanosoma terrestris sp. n., and were positioned in a new Trypanosoma clade, named T. terrestris clade.
Project description:In Crocodylidae family three trypanosomes species were described, T. grayi in African crocodilian and T. cecili and Trypanosoma sp. in Caimans species from Brazil. T. grayi was transmitted by tsetse flies and the vector of Brazilian caimans trypanosomes is unknown. We characterized first Brazilian trypanosome isolated in spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from Mato Grosso State in Brazil. Morphological findings in epimastigotes forms from axenic culture showed high similarity with Trypanosoma sp. described in Caiman yacare from Brazilian Pantanal. Phylogenetic studies performed with SSU rDNA and gGAPDH (glyceraldehydes-3-phosphato dehydrogenase glycosomal) clustering in T. grayi Clade and together to genotype Cay 01 from Trypanosoma unnamed species isolated in C. yacare. This is the first isolate of Trypanosoma sp. from C. crocodilus and the phylogenetic position with isolates in C. yacare from Pantanal region and demonstrates the low host specificity of cayman trypanosomes in Brazil.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Trypanosomes cause disease in humans and livestock in sub-Saharan Africa and rely on tsetse flies as their main insect vector. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa; however, only limited information about the occurrence and diversity of trypanosomes circulating in the country is available. METHODS:Tsetse flies were collected from five different locations in or adjacent to protected areas, i.e. national parks and game reserves, in Nigeria. Proboscis and gut samples were analysed for trypanosome DNA by molecular amplification of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region and part of the trypanosome specific glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) gene. RESULTS:The most abundant Trypanosoma species found in the tsetse gut was T. grayi, a trypanosome infecting crocodiles. It was ubiquitously distributed throughout the country, accounting for over 90% of all cases involving trypanosomes. Trypanosoma congolense was detected in gut samples from all locations except Cross River National Park, but not in the proboscis, while T. brucei (sensu lato) was not detected at all. In proboscis samples, T. vivax was the most prominent. The sequence diversity of gGAPDH suggests that T. vivax and T. grayi represent genetically diverse species clusters. This implies that they are highly dynamic populations. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of animal pathogenic trypanosomes throughout Nigeria emphasises the role of protected areas as reservoirs for livestock trypanosomes. The genetic diversity observed within T. vivax and T. grayi populations might be an indication for changing pathogenicity or host range and the origin and consequences of this diversity has to be further investigated.
Project description:While much is known of the impact of trypanosomes on human and livestock health, trypanosomes in wildlife, although ubiquitous, have largely been considered to be non-pathogenic. We describe the genetic diversity, tissue tropism and potential pathogenicity of trypanosomes naturally infecting Western Australian marsupials. Blood samples collected from 554 live-animals and 250 tissue samples extracted from 50 carcasses of sick-euthanized or road-killed animals, belonging to 10 species of marsupials, were screened for the presence of trypanosomes using a PCR of the 18S rDNA gene. PCR results revealed a rate of infection of 67% in blood and 60% in tissues. Inferred phylogenetic trees using 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences showed the presence of eight genotypes that clustered into three clades: a clade including Trypanosoma copemani, a new clade closely related to Trypanosoma gilletti, and a clade including Trypanosoma H25 from an Australian kangaroo. Trypanosome infections were compared in a declining and in a stable population of the endangered Australian marsupial, the brush tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata). This marsupial showed high rates of infection with Clade A genotypes (96%) in the declining population, whereas in the stable population, Clade B genotypes were predominant (89%). Mixed infections were common in woylies from the declining but not from the stable population. Histopathological findings associated with either mixed or single infections involving Clade A genotypes, showed a strong inflammatory process and tissue degeneration predominantly in heart, oesophagus and tongue. Trypanosomes were successfully grown in culture and for the first time we demonstrate that a genotype within Clade A has the capacity to not only colonize different tissues in the host but also to invade cells in vitro. These results provide evidence for the potential role of trypanosomes in the decline of a formerly abundant marsupial that is now critically endangered.
Project description:Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or terrestrial clade, sometimes simultaneously.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) and tabanids (Diptera: Tabanidae) are haematophagous insects of medical and veterinary importance due to their respective role in the biological and mechanical transmission of trypanosomes. Few studies on the distribution and relative abundance of both families have been conducted in Mozambique since the country's independence. Despite Nicoadala, Mozambique, being a multiple trypanocidal drug resistance hotspot no information regarding the distribution, seasonality or infection rates of fly-vectors are available. This is, however, crucial to understanding the epidemiology of trypanosomosis and to refine vector management. METHODS:For 365 days, 55 traps (20 NGU traps, 20 horizontal traps and 15 Epsilon traps) were deployed in three grazing areas of Nicoadala District: Namitangurine (25 traps); Zalala (15 traps); and Botao (15 traps). Flies were collected weekly and preserved in 70% ethanol. Identification using morphological keys was followed by molecular confirmation using cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene. Trap efficiency, species distribution and seasonal abundance were also assessed. To determine trypanosome infection rates, DNA was extracted from the captured flies, and submitted to 18S PCR-RFLP screening for the detection of Trypanosoma. RESULTS:In total, 4379 tabanids (of 10 species) and 24 tsetse flies (of 3 species), were caught. NGU traps were more effective in capturing both the Tabanidae and Glossinidae. Higher abundance and species diversity were observed in Namitangurine followed by Zalala and Botao. Tabanid abundance was approximately double during the rainy season compared to the dry season. Trypanosoma congolense and T. theileri were detected in the flies with overall infection rates of 75% for tsetse flies and 13% for tabanids. Atylotus agrestis had the highest infection rate of the tabanid species. The only pathogenic trypanosome detected was T. congolense. CONCLUSIONS:Despite the low numbers of tsetse flies captured, it can be assumed that they are still the cyclical vectors of trypanosomosis in the area. However, the high numbers of tabanids captured, associated to their demonstrated capacity of transmitting trypanosomes mechanically, suggest an important role in the epidemiology of trypanosomosis in the Nicoadala district. These results on the composition of tsetse and tabanid populations as well as the observed infection rates, should be considered when defining strategies to control the disease.
Project description:Salivarian trypanosomes are single cell extracellular parasites that cause infections in a wide range of hosts. Most pathogenic infections worldwide are caused by one of four major species of trypanosomes including (i) Trypanosoma brucei and the human infective subspecies T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense, (ii) Trypanosoma evansi and T. equiperdum, (iii) Trypanosoma congolense and (iv) Trypanosoma vivax. Infections with these parasites are marked by excessive immune dysfunction and immunopathology, both related to prolonged inflammatory host immune responses. Here we review the classification and global distribution of these parasites, highlight the adaptation of human infective trypanosomes that allow them to survive innate defense molecules unique to man, gorilla, and baboon serum and refer to the discovery of sexual reproduction of trypanosomes in the tsetse vector. With respect to the immunology of mammalian host-parasite interactions, the review highlights recent findings with respect to the B cell destruction capacity of trypanosomes and the role of T cells in the governance of infection control. Understanding infection-associated dysfunction and regulation of both these immune compartments is crucial to explain the continued failures of anti-trypanosome vaccine developments as well as the lack of any field-applicable vaccine based anti-trypanosomosis intervention strategy. Finally, the link between infection-associated inflammation and trypanosomosis induced anemia is covered in the context of both livestock and human infections.