International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 263–266 | Cite as

Trypanosoma Brucei: Continuous Cultivation of Antigenically Stable Parasites at 29°C and Induction of Antigenic Variants at 37°C

  • Mramba Nyindo
  • Fred R. Rurangirwa


Animal-infective forms (metacyclics) of Trypanosoma brucei brucei were grown in continuous culture at 29°C from the salivary glands of infected tsetse. The parasites were found by immunofluores-cent staining to be antigenically stable in the course of cultivation. When the antigenically stable parasites were incubated at 37°C they transformed from long and thin forms to short and stumpy ones and finally to long and slender parasites. The latter generated antigenic variants starting from the second, third or fourth week of incubation at 37°C. Once antigenic variants appeared at 37°C it was not possible to restore the parasites back to antigenically stable populations when they were transferred back to 29 C. These findings may have far-reaching implications in the study of antigenic variation in pathogenic African trypanosomes and the possible development of immunizing reagents against tsetse-borne trypanosomiasis.

Key Words

Trypanosoma brucei brucei antigenic variants trypanosomiasis parasites tsetse meta-cyclic trypanosomes induction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Doyle J. J., Hirumi H., Hirumi K., LUPTON E. N. and Cross G. A. M. (1980) Antigenic variation in clones of animal-infective Trypanosoma brucei derived and maintained in vitro. Parasitology 80, 359–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gray A. R. (1967) Some principles of the immunology of trypanosomiasis. Bull. Wld Blth Org. 37, 177–193.Google Scholar
  3. Gray A. R. and Luckins A. G. (1976) In Biology of The Kinetoplastida (Ed. by Lumsden W. H. R. and Evans D. A.), pp. 493–542. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Hudson L. and Hay F. C. (eds) (1976) Practical Immunology, pp. 8–16. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  5. Jenni L. and Brun R. (1981) In vitro cultivation of pleomorphic Trypanosoma brucei stocks: a possible source of variable antigens for immunization studies. Trans. Roy. Soc. trop. Med. Hyg. 75, 150–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnson G. D., Holborow E. J. and Dorling J. (1978) In Handbook of Experimental Immunology (Ed. by Weir D. M.) pp. 15.1–15.30. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  7. Nyindo M., Patel N, Darji N. and Golder T. K. (1979) Trypanosoma brucei. In vitro propagation of metacyclic forms derived from the salivary glands of Glossina morsitans. J. Parasit. 65, 751–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mramba Nyindo
    • 1
  • Fred R. Rurangirwa
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)NairobiKenya
  2. 2.Veterinary Research DepartmentKenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)KikuyuKenya

Personalised recommendations