Glossina pallidipes tsetse colony in the Ethiopian Kality facility without salivary gland hypertrophy

Glossina pallidipes tsetse colony in the Ethiopian Kality facility without salivary gland hypertrophy Since the first attempt to establish at the Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL), Seibersdorf, Austria a seed colony from Glossina pallidipes tsetse flies collected from Arba Minch, Ethiopia in 1999 to support the Southern Rift Valley Tsetse Eradication (STEP) project in Ethiopia, salivary gland hypertrophy (SGH) has been a major challenge for sustainability. One colony was lost at the IPCL and several colonies failed in the Kality facility in Ethiopia.

Glossina pallidipes tsetse colony in the Ethiopian Kality facility without salivary gland hypertrophy Over the last eight years the Joint FAO/IAEA Division conducted pioneering research to develop an effective SGH management strategy based on antiviral drug (valacyclovir) treatment combined with modifications to the feeding system (“clean feeding” system reducing the number of times flies are exposed to the same batch of blood). The virus management package was transferred to the Kality facility and has been implemented since 2012.

This has resulted in a significant decrease in the SGH prevalence in Glossina pallidipes colony (see Figure) such that SGH no longer poses a problem to colony maintenance.