Complete in vitro life cycle of Trypanosoma congolense: development of genetic tools

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Virginie CoustouThéo Baltz

Abstract

Animal African trypanosomosis, a disease mainly caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma congolense, is a major constraint to livestock productivity and has a significant impact in the developing countries of Africa. RNA interference (RNAi) has been used to study gene function and identify drug and vaccine targets in a variety of organisms including trypanosomes. However, trypanosome RNAi studies have mainly been conducted in T. brucei, as a model for human infection, largely ignoring livestock parasites of economical importance such as T. congolense, which displays different pathogenesis profiles. The whole T. congolense life cycle can be completed in vitro, but this attractive model displayed important limitations: (i) genetic tools were currently limited to insect forms and production of modified infectious BSF through differentiation was never achieved, (ii) in vitro differentiation techniques lasted several months, (iii) absence of long-term bloodstream forms (BSF) in vitro culture prevented genomic analyses. We optimized culture conditions for each developmental stage and secured the differentiation steps. Specifically, we devised a medium adapted for the strenuous development of stable long-term BSF culture. Using Am...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Science of Microbial Genetics
Insecta
Life Cycle Stages
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Molecular Genetics (Discipline)
Proteins, Recombinant DNA
Transfection
Trypanosoma congolense
Genes, Reporter
Gene Silencing

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