The Cyclical Development of Trypanosoma vivax in the Tsetse Fly Involves an Asymmetric Division

CHER-PHENG OOI, Sarah Schuster, Christelle Cren-Travaille, Eloise Bertiaux, Alain Cosson, Sophie Goyard, Sylvie Perrot, Brice Rotureau

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Trypanosoma vivax is the most prevalent trypanosome species in African cattle. It is thought to be transmitted by tsetse flies after cyclical development restricted to the vector mouthparts. Here, we investigated the kinetics of T. vivax development in Glossina morsitans morsitans by serial dissections over 1 week to reveal differentiation and proliferation stages. After 3 days, stable numbers of attached epimastigotes were seen proliferating by symmetric division in the cibarium and proboscis, consistent with colonization and maintenance of a parasite population for the remaining lifespan of the tsetse fly. Strikingly, some asymmetrically dividing cells were also observed in proportions compatible with a continuous production of pre- metacyclic trypomastigotes. The involvement of this asymmetric division in T. vivax metacyclogenesis is discussed and compared to other trypanosomatids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Early online date28 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2016


  • Asymmetric division
  • Development
  • Differentiation
  • Parasite cycle
  • Trypanosoma vivax
  • Tsetse fly


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