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African trypanosomes: celebrating diversity

, : African trypanosomes: celebrating diversity. Trends in Parasitology 26(7): 324-328

Recent advances in molecular identification techniques and phylogenetic analysis have revealed the presence of previously unidentified tsetse-transmitted trypanosomes in Africa. This is surprising in a comparatively well-known group of pathogens that includes the causative agents of human and animal trypanosomiasis. Despite levels of genetic divergence that warrant taxonomic recognition, only one of these new trypanosomes has been named as a new species; the increased diversity is largely ignored or regarded as an inconvenient complication. Yet, some of these trypanosomes have demonstrated pathogenicity, whereas others are closely related to known pathogens, and might share this trait. We should first acknowledge that these novel trypanosomes exist and then take steps to investigate their host range, pathogenicity to livestock and response to chemotherapy.


PMID: 20382076

DOI: 10.1016/

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