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In a sleeping sickness focus of Côte d'Ivoire, trypanosomes were characterized in humans, pigs and tsetse using various techniques. Out of 74 patients, all the 43 stocks isolated by KIVI (Kit for In Vitro Isolation) appeared to belong to only one zymodeme of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense group 1 (the major zymodeme Z3). The only stock isolated on rodents belonged to a different, new, zymodeme (Z50), of T. b. gambiense group 1. From 18 pigs sampled in the same locations as the patients, PCR showed a high proportion of mixed infections of T. brucei s. l. and T. congolense riverine-forest. Zymodemes of T. brucei s. l. from these pigs were different from those found in humans. From a total of 16260 captured tsetse (Glossina palpalis palpalis), 1701 were dissected and 28% were found to be infected by trypanosomes. The most prevalent trypanosome was T. congolense riverine-forest type, followed by T. vivax, T. brucei s. l. and T. congolense savannah type, this latter being associated to the forest type of T. congolense in most cases. Mixed infections by 2 or 3 of these trypanosomes were also found. Use of a microsatellite marker allowed us to distinguish T. b. gambiense group 1 in some of the mature infections in tsetse. Differences in infection rates and in trypanosome genotypes according to the host might indicate that the pig may not be an active animal reservoir for humans in this focus.
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