African trypanosomiasis is caused by African trypanosomes; extracellular and flagellated parasites are transmitted to mammals most often by tsetse flies. The outcomes of trypanosome infections depend on the hosts and trypanosome strains. For instance, diversity in clinical evolutions of the disease has been observed in mammals infected by the same trypanosome subspecies. In tsetse, the development of trypanosomes varies according to trypanosomes or tsetse species. Understanding the infectivity, the establishment and the development of trypanosomes in tsetse and mammals as well as the pathogenesis require comprehending the transmission of the disease by dissecting the interactions between trypanosomes and their hosts. The transmission cycles of African trypanosomiasis involve trypanosomes, tsetse and mammals. Understanding the role of each actor or what occurs in each infected host may help to understand trypanosome infections.
In this light, hypotheses on the genetic variability of tsetse and trypanosomes as well as the variability in the host’s response to trypanosomes, or the trypanosome’s response to host’s molecules are key elements for which investigations may help to better apprehend the trypanosome infections.
During the last decades, most of our investigations were focused on the population genetics of trypanosomes and tsetse in relation to the epidemiology of sleeping sickness in central Africa. We have also identified and characterized trypanosomes circulating in animals and tsetse and demonstrated the presence of animal reservoir of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense.
To identify host’s molecules or parasite’s molecules that are produced or differentially expressed during trypanosome infections, our ongoing projects are focused on the transcriptomic analysis between Trypanosoma brucei species and the miRNA profiling in mammals infected by trypanosomes.
- 02 Feb 2015
- Dr. Gustave Simo