Using a novel multilocus DNA marker analysis method, we studied the population genetic structure of Trypansoma brucei stocks and derived clones isolated from animal and rhodesiense sleeping sickness patients during a national sleeping sickness control program in Mukono district, Uganda. We then performed a cladistic analysis to trace relationships and evolution, using stocks and clones recovered from geographically and temporally matched hosts, including inter-strain comparisons with T. b. gambiense stocks and clones. Our results show that while there was close genetic relatedness among parasite populations from the same geographical region, micro-heterogeneities exist between different stocks. Data are presented that indicate that not every human sleeping sickness focus may be associated with a particular human-infective trypanosome strain responsible for long-term stability of the reference focus. We provide evidence of genetic sub-structuring among type 1 T. b. gambiense stocks, which has potentially important implications for molecular epidemiology of T. brucei.

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Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Department of Immunology

Agbo, E. C., Clausen, P.-H., Büscher, P., Majiwa, P., Claassen, E., & te Pas, M. (2003). Population genetic structure and cladistic analysis of Trypanosoma brucei isolates. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 3(3), 165–174. doi:10.1016/S1567-1348(03)00071-6