Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Tsetse Flies Fall For A Host, They Keep Coming Back For More

Date:
January 16, 2008
Source:
CIRAD
Summary:
If you like a restaurant first time around, you're likely to go back, aren't you? Well the same goes, more or less, for tsetse flies, as researchers have recently demonstrated. Tsetse flies, which transmit the trypanosome that causes sleeping sickness in humans and its equivalent in animals, primarily feed on the blood of various animals, such as ruminants, reptiles and humans. However, flies that fed on a given species first time around tend to return to the same species over the next couple of days, rather than changing hosts.

Tsetse flies, which transmit the trypanosome that causes sleeping sickness in humans and its equivalent in animals, primarily feed on the blood of various animals, such as ruminants, reptiles and humans. However, flies that fed on a given species first time around tend to return to the same species over the next couple of days, rather than changing hosts.
Credit: Image courtesy of CIRAD

If you like a restaurant first time around, you're likely to go back, aren't you? Well the same goes, more or less, for tsetse flies, as researchers from CIRAD, CIRDES and the University of Neuchβtel have recently demonstrated.

Related Articles


Tsetse flies, which transmit the trypanosome that causes sleeping sickness in humans and its equivalent in animals, primarily feed on the blood of various animals, such as ruminants, reptiles and humans. However, flies that fed on a given species first time around tend to return to the same species over the next couple of days, rather than changing hosts.

To achieve this result, the researchers worked in a laboratory in Burkina Faso with swarms of 125 flies, each taken from a population of some 100 000 flies reared at CIRDES. Those swarms were then offered a menu with a single dish: one ruminant or reptile species. A few days after that single dish, they were given a choice of two species. Once they had fed, they were dissected to see where the blood they had eaten came from.

Over the next two days, the flies chose the blood of the same species.

The results were statistically processed, and showed that the flies that had fed on a ruminant first preferred to feed on a ruminant second time around, rather than on a reptile. Likewise, flies that had fed on a reptile first preferred a reptile second time around. However, while this was the case if the interval between meals was less than two days, it was not so for longer intervals. The experiment was repeated for a three-day interval, and the flies, who were short of food by then, fed indiscriminately on ruminant or reptile blood irrespective of their original host: one's always less difficult when one's hungry!

These results could help us to understand, and even control, trypanosomes and how they are transmitted between species. The stakes are high: of the 42 poorest countries in the world, 32 are in Africa and are home to tsetse flies. Trypanosomiases are found throughout two thirds of the continent of Africa, and cause the deaths of three million head of livestock and the loss of 500 000 tonnes of meat and 1 million tonnes of milk each year. More than 60 million people are at risk of catching the parasite, which kills 100 patients a day.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CIRAD. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CIRAD. "When Tsetse Flies Fall For A Host, They Keep Coming Back For More." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111225730.htm>.
CIRAD. (2008, January 16). When Tsetse Flies Fall For A Host, They Keep Coming Back For More. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111225730.htm
CIRAD. "When Tsetse Flies Fall For A Host, They Keep Coming Back For More." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111225730.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) — Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) — Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins