Social Motility of African Trypanosomes Is a Property of a Distinct Life-Cycle Stage That Occurs Early in Tsetse Fly Transmission


African trypanosomes, single-celled parasites that cause human sleeping sickness and Nagana in animals, are transmitted by tsetse flies. Bloodstream form trypanosomes ingested by tsetse differentiate into procyclic forms in the midgut lumen of the insect. Successful transmission to a new mammalian host requires at least two migrations within the fly: one from the midgut lumen to the ectoperitrophic space, and a subsequent migration from the ectoperitrophic space to the salivary glands. Procyclic forms can exhibit social motility, a form of coordinated movement, on semi-solid surfaces. While social motility in bacteria is linked to virulence, the biological significance for trypanosomes is unknown. We demonstrate that social motility is a property of early procyclic forms, which are equivalent to the forms present during the first week of fly infection. In contrast, late procyclic forms characteristic for established infections are deficient for social motility. Our findings link social motility to a biological process, confirm that early and late procyclic forms are distinct life-cycle stages and imply that genes essential for social motility will be of key importance in fly transmission. We suggest that using the social motility assay as a surrogate for fly experiments should enable many more laboratories to examine this aspect of parasite transmission.


Vyšlo v časopise: Social Motility of African Trypanosomes Is a Property of a Distinct Life-Cycle Stage That Occurs Early in Tsetse Fly Transmission. PLoS Pathog 10(10): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004493
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004493

Souhrn

African trypanosomes, single-celled parasites that cause human sleeping sickness and Nagana in animals, are transmitted by tsetse flies. Bloodstream form trypanosomes ingested by tsetse differentiate into procyclic forms in the midgut lumen of the insect. Successful transmission to a new mammalian host requires at least two migrations within the fly: one from the midgut lumen to the ectoperitrophic space, and a subsequent migration from the ectoperitrophic space to the salivary glands. Procyclic forms can exhibit social motility, a form of coordinated movement, on semi-solid surfaces. While social motility in bacteria is linked to virulence, the biological significance for trypanosomes is unknown. We demonstrate that social motility is a property of early procyclic forms, which are equivalent to the forms present during the first week of fly infection. In contrast, late procyclic forms characteristic for established infections are deficient for social motility. Our findings link social motility to a biological process, confirm that early and late procyclic forms are distinct life-cycle stages and imply that genes essential for social motility will be of key importance in fly transmission. We suggest that using the social motility assay as a surrogate for fly experiments should enable many more laboratories to examine this aspect of parasite transmission.


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Hygiena a epidemiológia Infekčné lekárstvo Laboratórium

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