Parasites and blood-meal hosts of the tsetse fly in Tanzania: a metagenomics study

Ju Yeong Kim, Jun Ho Choi, Sung Hyun Nam, Robert Fyumagwa, Tai Soon Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Tsetse flies can transmit various Trypanosoma spp. that cause trypanosomiasis in humans, wild animals, and domestic animals. Amplicon deep sequencing of the 12S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene can be used to detect mammalian tsetse hosts, and the 18S rRNA gene can be used to detect all associated eukaryotic pathogens, including Trypanosoma spp. Methods: Tsetse flies were collected from the Serengeti National Park (n = 48), Maswa Game Reserve (n = 42), and Tarangire National Park (n = 49) in Tanzania in 2012–13. Amplicon deep sequencing targeting mammal-specific 12S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes was performed to screen the blood-feeding sources of tsetse flies and eukaryotic parasites in tsetse flies, respectively. Results: 12S rRNA gene deep sequencing revealed that various mammals were blood-feeding sources of the tsetse flies, including humans, common warthogs, African buffalos, mice, giraffes, African elephants, waterbucks, and lions. Genes of humans were less frequently detected in Serengeti (P = 0.0024), whereas African buffaloes were detected more frequently as a blood-feeding source (P = 0.0010). 18S rRNA gene deep sequencing showed that six tsetse samples harbored the Trypanosoma gene, which was identified as Trypanosoma godfreyi and Trypanosoma simiae in subsequent ITS1 gene sequencing. Conclusions: Through amplicon deep sequencing targeting the 12S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes, various mammalian animals were identified as blood-meal sources, and two Trypanosoma species were detected in tsetse flies collected from the Maswa Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, and Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. This study illustrates the patterns of parasitism of tsetse fly, wild animals targeted by the fly, and Trypanosoma spp. carried by the fly in Tanzania. It may provide essential data for formulating better strategies to control African trypanosomes. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number224
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Parasites and blood-meal hosts of the tsetse fly in Tanzania: a metagenomics study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this