Biology of African trypanosomes in the tsetse fly

Biol Cell. 1988;64(2):109-19. doi: 10.1016/0248-4900(88)90070-6.


African trypanosomes present several features of interest to cell biologists. These include: a repressible single mitochondrion with a large mass of mitochondrial DNA, the kinetoplast; a special organelle, the glycosome, which houses the enzymes of the glycolytic chain; a surface coat of variable glycoprotein which enables the parasite to evade the mammalian host's immune response; and a unique flagellum-to-host attachment mechanism associated with novel cytoskeletal elements. Trypanosome development during the life cycle involves cyclical activation and repression of genes controlling these activities. Understanding the complexity of parasite development in the tsetse fly vector is especially challenging but may help to suggest new methods for the control of trypanosomiasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Trypanosoma / physiology*
  • Tsetse Flies / parasitology*