BACKGROUND: The management of the tsetse species Glossina pallidipes (Diptera; Glossinidae) in Africa by the sterile insect technique (SIT) has been hindered by infections of G. pallidipes production colonies with Glossina pallidipes salivary gland hypertrophy virus (GpSGHV; Hytrosaviridae family). This virus can significantly decrease productivity of the G. pallidipes colonies. Here, we used three highly diverged genes and two variable number tandem repeat regions (VNTRs) of the GpSGHV genome to identify the viral haplotypes in seven Glossina species obtained from 29 African locations and determine their phylogenetic relatedness. RESULTS: GpSGHV was detected in all analysed Glossina species using PCR. The highest GpSGHV prevalence was found in G. pallidipes colonized at FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) that originated from Uganda (100%) and Tanzania (88%), and a lower prevalence in G. morsitans morsitans from Tanzania (58%) and Zimbabwe (20%). Whereas GpSGHV was detected in 25-40% of G. fuscipes fuscipes in eastern Uganda, the virus was not detected in specimens of neighboring western Kenya. Most of the identified 15 haplotypes were restricted to specific Glossina species in distinct locations. Seven haplotypes were found exclusively in G. pallidipes. The reference haplotype H1 (GpSGHV-Uga; Ugandan strain) was the most widely distributed, but was not found in G. swynnertoni GpSGHV. The 15 haplotypes clustered into three distinct phylogenetic clades, the largest contained seven haplotypes, which were detected in six Glossina species. The G. pallidipes-infecting haplotypes H10, H11 and H12 (from Kenya) clustered with H7 (from Ethiopia), which presumably corresponds to the recently sequenced GpSGHV-Eth (Ethiopian) strain. These four haplotypes diverged the most from the reference H1 (GpSGHV-Uga). Haplotypes H1, H5 and H14 formed three main genealogy hubs, potentially representing the ancestors of the 15 haplotypes. CONCLUSION: These data identify G. pallidipes as a significant driver for the generation and diversity of GpSGHV variants. This information may provide control guidance when new tsetse colonies are established and hence, for improved management of the virus in tsetse rearing facilities that maintain multiple Glossina species.
- Genetic diversity
- Salivary gland hypertrophy virus
- Sterile insect technique
- Virus evolution