The Scholars

of the WANIDA network

WANIDA > Scholars > Youssouf Mfopit Mouliom

Curriculum :
PhD - Biotechnology

ACE affiliate :
African Center of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology (ACE-NTDFB), ABU-Zaria, Nigeria.

Thesis title :
Characterization of bacteria with potential sialidase activity and endosymbionts from the midgut of tsetse flies collected in selected regions of West and Central Africa.

WANIDA > Scholars > Youssouf Mfopit Mouliom

Start-up year: 2021

Past and current trypanosomiasis control measures are based on tsetse vector control and the administration of drugs for preventive or curative therapy. Treatment requires expensive and toxic intravenous drugs, which are not very effective due to the growing number of drug-resistant strains in several African countries. For vector control, several tools have been developed. However, implementation and sustainability of these tools in the field remain a challenge. Sustainable strategies are needed to control or eliminate the disease. Without such efforts, the disease will reappear. Consequently, the search for new drugs and/or new disease control strategies must continue. One potential sustainable strategy for eliminating HAT is to make the fly resistant to trypanosome infection through a transgenic approach.


Expected results :

  • Isolation and characterization of tsetse gut bacteria by the culture-dependent method.
  • Identification of bacteria with sialidase activity.
  • Molecular characterization of sialidase-producing bacteria.
  • Determination of the enzyme's biochemical properties.
  • Determination of sialidase gene propagation in the tsetse gut.
  • Determination of the prevalence of tsetse endosymbionts (Sodalis glossinidius, Wolbachia sp. and Spiroplasma sp.).
  • Relationship between bacterial presence and trypanosome infections in the tsetse gut.

To find a gene that could be inserted into the genome of the symbiotic bacterium Sodalis glossinidius to express sialidase. The recombinant symbionts could then be reintroduced into the tsetse population, where they could then increase the flies' refractoriness to trypanosomes. The modified symbiont could then be driven out of the tsetse population by the symbiont's cytoplasmic incompatibility. Wolbachia.

Supervisor :
Prof Junaidu Kabir (ACE-NTDFB)

Co-supervisor :
Prof Nasiru Shuaibu (ACE-NTDFB)

Other contributors under PhD/MSc supervision:
Dr Balogun Emmanuel and Prof Soerge Kelm