Glossina morsitans

Glossina morsitans

Male and female tsetse flies are the vectors of the trypanosomes that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals. It is conservatively estimated by the World Health Organization that there are currently between 300,000 and 500,000 cases of African sleeping sickness, with 60 million people at risk in 37 countries covering 40% of Africa. After a devastating epidemic in the early 20th century, when a million people died of sleeping sickness, the disease almost disappeared from Africa by the 1960s. However, we are now in the midst of another epidemic, with increasing numbers of new infections and mortality (55,000 deaths in 1993; 66,000 in 1999), and a disease burden of 2.05 million disability adjusted life years (DALY).

Glossina morsitans distribution is not accurately known in all countries. The subspecies G. morsitans submorsitans extends as a very large but broken belt throughout West Africa, into southern Sudan, northern Uganda.and Ethiopia. Very large belts of G. morsitans centralis occur in Zaire, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi; belts of G. morsitans morsitans occur in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The boundary separating the two subspecies G. morsitans centralis and G. morsitans morsitans corresponds roughly with the Atlantic/Indian Ocean watershed.

The project has been jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust, WHO/TDR, RIKEN, the University of Tokyo and NIH/NIAID.

Community contact: 
Serap Aksoy

Strains, genome assemblies and gene sets

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