How does Trypanosoma equiperdum fit into the Trypanozoon group? A cluster analysis by RAPD and Multiplex-endonuclease genotyping approach

F. CLAES a1a5c1, E. C. AGBO a2, M. RADWANSKA a1, M. F. W. TE PAS a2, T. BALTZ a3, D. T. DE WAAL a4, B. M. GODDEERIS a5, E. CLAASSEN a6 and P. BÜSCHER a1
a1 Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Parasitology, Nationalestraat 155, Antwerpen, Belgium
a2 Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-Lelystad), Division of Animal Sciences, Edelhertweg 15, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands
a3 Laboratoire de Parasitologie Moleculaire, Université Victor Ségalen Bordeaux II, 146, Rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux, France
a4 Parasitology Division, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
a5 Faculty of Agriculture and Applied Biological Sciences, K. U. Leuven, Department of Animal Science, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
a6 Department of Immunology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dr Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Article author query
claes f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
agbo e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
radwanska m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
te pas m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
baltz t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
de waal d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
goddeeris b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
claassen e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
buscher p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The pathogenic trypanosomes Trypanosoma equiperdum, T. evansi as well as T. brucei are morphologically identical. In horses, these parasites are considered to cause respectively dourine, surra and nagana. Previous molecular attempts to differentiate these species were not successful for T. evansi and T. equiperdum; only T. b. brucei could be differentiated to a certain extent. In this study we analysed 10 T. equiperdum, 8 T. evansi and 4 T. b. brucei using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and multiplex-endonuclease fingerprinting, a modified AFLP technique. The results obtained confirm the homogeneity of the T. evansi group tested. The T. b. brucei clustered out in a heterogenous group. For T. equiperdum the situation is more complex: 8 out of 10 T. equiperdum clustered together with the T. evansi group, while 2 T. equiperdum strains were more related to T. b. brucei. Hence, 2 hypotheses can be formulated: (1) only 2 T. equiperdum strains are genuine T. equiperdum causing dourine; all other T. equiperdum strains actually are T. evansi causing surra or (2) T. equiperdum does not exist at all. In that case, the different clinical outcome of horse infections with T. evansi or T. b. brucei is primarily related to the host immune response.

(Received July 16 2002)
(Revised October 24 2002)
(Accepted November 20 2002)

Key Words: Trypanosoma equiperdum; characterization; RAPD; multiplex-endonuclease fingerprinting; AFLP.

c1 Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Parasitology, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. Tel: +32 3 247 63 69. Fax: +32 3 247 63 73. E-mail: