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the infamous tse-tse | by omeuceu
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the infamous tse-tse

another long story... this is the infamous tse-tse fly. Ok. you guess it. This is too from Democratic Republic of Congo. Rarely, I took photos to dead animals - this is very dirty :( - but these two are very relevant to medicine so I want to provide some views of these evil flies...

This fly is Glossina sp. and belongs to the Glossinidae family. It could be confused with a Musca domestica, but there are very different features like: the long proboscis (not seen here), the wings are more longer than the body, the discal medial (i.e. the middle) cell of the wing has a characteristic hatchet shape; and it is more bulk than the Muscidae flies. And, of course, this fly in DRC can transmit sleeping sickness in chronic form. The parasite is Trypanossoma brucei (variety unknown for this fly...) who is a protozoroan with only flagellum - it seems that there is a genomic map for this parasite! My friend said to me that sleeping sickness can trigger psicologic alterations, insomnias, and if not well treated can be fatal, with progressive mental deterioration leading to coma and death...


Adding more: "Unique to Trypanossoma brucei is the expression of a variable surface glycoprotein (VSG) coat on the cell surface, which undergoes constant variation in order to evade the humoral immune system and host antibodies."

You must know that many of our cells are coated with glycoprotein (one part protein and another glycidic - normally this last is in extracellular matrix - i.e. outside of the cell) and whenever - in a very simple way - our defences doesn´t recognize glycoproteins can attack the "invasors" - the "invasors" have too glycoproteins but strange to organism so they launch normally an attack..


Possibilites for species of this fly (all can transmit the protozoroan Trypanossoma brucei):

G. palpalis

G. tachinoides

G. fuscipes

G. morsitans

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Taken on January 10, 2007