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Research and Training

  • International Glossina Genome Initiative (IGGI) was established in 2004 to promote Glossina genome sequencing and bioinformatics activities. Expanding genomics resources is expected to also build the Glossina community.

  • Tsetse has a unique reproductive physiology and developmental cycle. They undergo viviparous reproduction (the deposition of live offspring). In tsetse this process is highly specialized.

  • In the absence of effective and affordable control strategies to block disease in the mammalian host, most control efforts utilize tsetse reduction methods. We are using population genetics to identify the historical and modern processes that account for the current level and distribution of genetic variation in tsetse.

  • Tsetse flies are associated with a broad range of microbes, including protozoan African trypanosomes, bacterial symbionts and viral pathogens. Our lab uses this unique host-microbe system to understand physiological mechanisms that mediate homeostasis of microbial partnerships. 

  • Wigglesworthia. Mutualistic bacteria enable tsetse to survive on a single diet-vertebrate blood. Wigglesworthia is an intracellular enteric bacterium with a reduced genome size of 700kb and reside in the bacteriome organ in anterior midgut.

  • Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are the sole vectors of pathogenic trypanosomes that cause Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) in sub-Saharan Africa. Current methods to control his devastating disease include the use of pesticides to eliminate the tsetse vector and chemotherapeutic agents to treat already infected individuals.

  • This training award from the Fogarty International Center on “Tsetse Transmitted Trypanosomiasis Control” has allowed us to build research capacity in the area of tsetse fly transmitted diseases.