Comparative metabolism of Trypanosoma brucei brucei and the livestock trypanosome T. congolense

Tue10  Apr05:15pm(15 mins)
Stream 1 - Edward Llwyd 0.26 Biology Main


P C Steketee1; F Achcar4; J Iremonger1; F Giordani4; S Jayaraman1; K CrouchE Paxton1; A Donachie4; H de Koning4; C J Suckling3; M P Barrett4; L J Morrison1
1 Roslin Institute, UK;  2 University of Glasgow , UK;  3 University of Strathclyde, UK;  4 Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, UK


The protozoan livestock parasite, Trypanosoma congolense, is a primary causative agent of animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT), also known as Nagana. This disease is responsible for a significant socio-economic burden across sub-Saharan Africa, with annual cattle deaths in excess of 3 million. There are limited chemotherapeutics to combat AAT, and with drug resistance emerging to the majority of compounds available, there is a dire need for novel trypanocides. Whilst the closely related trypanosomatid T. brucei has been the subject of much attention over the past century, the livestock trypanosomes, including both T. congolense and T. vivax, have been relatively ignored, partially due to an inability to culture the parasites in a laboratory environment. Hence, biological understanding of these pathogens remains limited. Using metabolomics (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) and RNAseq, we have compared the metabolism of T. congolense with T. brucei, and have identified both similarities and important differences. Analyses suggest that glycolysis remains active in T. congolense, but is geared towards acetate production. In contrast to T. brucei, the primary metabolic outputs of T. congolense are acetate, succinate and malate, suggesting that T. congolense bloodstream form bears similarities, albeit on a metabolic level, to that of both bloodstream and procyclic form T. brucei. This information is aiding our attempts to develop novel in vitro culturing strategies for the livestock trypanosomes.


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