Monoxenous trypanosomatids, which are usually regarded as benign dwellers of the insect alimentary tract, represent a relatively obscure group within the family Trypanosomatidae. This field of study has long been in disarray with the genus level taxonomy of this group remaining artificial, species criteria elusive, host specificity and occurrence poorly known, and their diversity mostly unexplored. The time has arrived to remedy this situation: a phylogenetic approach has been applied to taxa recognition and description, and a culture-independent (PCR-based) approach for detection and identification of organisms in nature has made it feasible to study the diversity of the group. Although more than 100 typing units have been discovered recently, these appear to represent a small segment of trypanosomatid biodiversity, which still remains to be uncovered.
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