Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
MOTLOANG, Makhosazana et al. Vector competence of Glossina austeni and Glossina brevipalpis for Trypanosoma congolense in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2012, vol.79, n.1, pp. 01-06. ISSN 2219-0635.
Tsetse-transmitted trypanosomosis (nagana) has been the cause of stock losses in the recent past and still presents a major problem to livestock owners in certain areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Over 10 000 cattle mortalities were reported in the 1990 nagana outbreak. Although information on the distribution and abundance of the tsetse flies Glossina brevipalpis and Glossina austeni in KwaZulu-Natal exists, data on their vector competence are lacking. This study aimed to determine the rate of natural Trypanosoma congolense infection by field-collected as well as colony-reared flies of these species. A total of 442 field-collected G. brevipalpis and 40 G. austeni flies were dissected immediately after collection to determine their infection rates, whilst 699 G. brevipalpis and 49 G. austeni flies were fed on susceptible animals in 10 and four batches, respectively, for use in xenodiagnosis experiments. Teneral colony flies were fed on infected animals and dissected 21 days post infection to confirm their infectivity testing. Glossina austeni harboured 8% immature and mature infections. In G. brevipalpis, the infection with the immature stages was lower (1%) and no mature infections were observed. Although all four batches of G. austeni transmitted T. congolense to four susceptible animals, no transmission resulted from 10 batches of G. brevipalpis fed on susceptible cattle. Colonyderived G. austeni (534) and G. brevipalpis (882) were fed on four bovines infected with different T. congolense isolates. Both G. austeni and G. brevipalpis acquired trypanosome infection from the bovines, with immature infection ranges of 20% - 33% and 1% - 4%, respectively. Parasites, however, only matured in G. austeni (average = 4%). Glossina austeni plays a larger role in the epidemiology of animal trypanosomosis in KwaZulu-Natal than G. brevipalpis and therefore more focus should be aimed at the former when control measures are implemented.