The More Insect Trypanosomatids Under Study-The More Diverse Trypanosomatidae Appears

Int J Parasitol. 2001 May 1;31(5-6):648-52. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7519(01)00139-4.


From 10 trypanosomatids genera six comprise monogenetic parasites of insects and for the rest of four genera insects may serve as vectors. The invertebrate host is an essential element of trypanosomatids life cycle, but from more than 900 recognised vertebrate hosts only about 500 species of insects have been discovered to be the hosts of homoxenous trypanosomatids. Nothing or very little is known about insect trypanosomatids in many extensive areas such as South East Asia, Australia, Japan and some others. Each new region explored brings many new findings. Recently flagellates were found in new insect species and families. The border of parasites distribution was expanded till Central Asia, Far East and North over the Polar Circle. As paleogeographical events are now under contemplating in trypanosomatids phylogeny researches so northern insect trypanosomatids may attract some attention as the elements of postglacial fauna which is definitely young. Very broad host specificity of insect trypanosomatids and high probability to isolate non-specific parasite show causes that only the investigation of a culture may solve the question 'what parasite was really isolated?'. Examination of cell morphotypes in the host has clearly demonstrated that they are not sufficient for classification and may lead us to be mistaken. The number of insect trypanosomatid cultures is inadequate for characterisation of the diversity of insects trypanosomatids. Trypanosoma is actually the only trypanosomatid genus which is out of questions. Insect trypanosomatids comprise the most diversified part of trypanosomatids evolutionary tree. Recent ssrRNA phylogenetic analysis and morphological data show that three insect isolates represent new lineages on trypanosomatid evolutionary tree, as well as dendrograms derived from PCR data demonstrated some new groups of isolates. Therefore, the more insect trypanosomatids are involved in laboratory investigations--the more new clusters or/and new lineages are appearing on the tree.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Insecta / parasitology*
  • Leishmania / classification
  • Leishmania / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Trypanosoma / classification
  • Trypanosoma / genetics
  • Trypanosomatina / classification*
  • Trypanosomatina / genetics