With the absence of effective prophylactic vaccines and drugs against African trypanosomosis, control of this group of zoonotic neglected tropical diseases depends the control of the tsetse fly vector. When applied in an area-wide insect pest management approach, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is effective in eliminating single tsetse species from isolated populations. The need to enhance the effectiveness of SIT led to the concept of investigating tsetse-trypanosome interactions by a consortium of researchers in a five-year (2013-2018) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) organized by the Joint Division of FAO/IAEA. The goal of this CRP was to elucidate tsetse-symbiome-pathogen molecular interactions to improve SIT and SIT-compatible interventions for trypanosomoses control by enhancing vector refractoriness. This would allow extension of SIT into areas with potential disease transmission. This paper highlights the CRP's major achievements and discusses the science-based perspectives for successful mitigation or eradication of African trypanosomosis.
- Trypanosoma-refractoriness, sterile insect technique
- Vector competence