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Molecular detection of divergent trypanosomes among rodents of Thailand

Abstract : Herpetosoma is a homogenous subgenus of several dozen named species that are often described as morphologically indistinguishable T. lewisi-like parasites. These trypanosomes normally infect rodents and utilize fleas as vectors. Although this trypanosome subgenus is considered nonpathogenic to normal hosts, some of them are on rare occasion reported in association with human disease. Recently, a T. lewisi-like infection was detected in a sick Thai infant, thus the objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of T. lewisi infections among different rodents indigenous to Thailand in order to identify possible sources of human cases. Blood was collected from a total of 276 rodents trapped from urban and rural areas of three Thai provinces between 2006 and 2007. These samples were processed for DNA isolation and tested with a PCR assay universal for the genus Trypanosoma, followed by internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) sequence analysis to identify infections in positive samples. Herpetosoma known as T. lewisi-like trypanosomes were present among Rattus (14.3%) and Bandicota (18.0%) rodent species and salivarian trypanosomes closely related to T. evansi were detected in Leopoldamys (20%) and Rattus (2.0%) species. Herpetosoma were prevalent among rodents associated with both human and sylvatic habitats, while three of the four salivaria-positive rodents were from a forest biotope. A Herpetosoma ITS-1 sequence amplified from one of these samples was 97.9% identical to that reported for T. lewisi in an experimentally infected rat and 96.4% identical to the sequence amplified from blood from a Thai infant. Habitats where rodents were collected significantly affect rodent infection, at least for T. lewisi, suggesting that the degree of anthropization may influence the transmission of Trypanosoma spp. These results suggest that multiple Herpetosoma species or strains are enzootic to Thailand, and that Rattus and Bandicota species are possible sources of human exposure to these parasites.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 11:43:34 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 3:38:59 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00376207, version 1


Sathaporn Jittapalapong, Tawin Inpankaew, Nachai Sarataphan, Vincent Herbreteau, Jean-Pierre Hugot, et al.. Molecular detection of divergent trypanosomes among rodents of Thailand. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Elsevier, 2008, 8 (4), pp.445-449. ⟨hal-00376207⟩



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