Background: Tsetse flies are the cyclical vectors of African trypanosomosis that constitute a major constraint to development in Africa. Their control is an important component of the integrated management of these diseases, and among the techniques available, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is the sole that is efficient at low densities. The government of Burkina Faso has embarked on a tsetse eradication programme in the framework of the PATTEC, where SIT is an important component. The project plans to use flies from a Glossina palpalis gambiensis colony that has been maintained for about 40 years at the Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l'Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES). It was thus necessary to test the competitiveness of the sterile males originating from this colony. Methodology/Principal Findings: During the period January-February 2010, 16,000 sterile male G. p. gambiensis were released along a tributary of the Mouhoun river. The study revealed that with a mean sterile to wild male ratio of 1.16 (s.d. 0.38), the abortion rate of the wild female flies was significantly higher than before (p = 0.026) and after (p = 0.019) the release period. The estimated competitiveness of the sterile males (Fried index) was 0.07 (s.d. 0.02), indicating that a sterile to wild male ratio of 14.4 would be necessary to obtain nearly complete induced sterility in the female population. The aggregation patterns of sterile and wild male flies were similar. The survival rate of the released sterile male flies was similar to that observed in 1983-1985 for the same colony. Conclusions/Significance: We conclude that gamma sterilised male G. p. gambiensis derived from the CIRDES colony have a competitiveness that is comparable to their competitiveness obtained 35 years ago and can still be used for an area-wide integrated pest management campaign with a sterile insect component in Burkina Faso. © 2012 Sow et al.
Sow, A., Sidibé, I., Bengaly, Z., Bancé, A. Z., Sawadogo, G. J., Solano, P., … Bouyer, J. (2012). Irradiated male tsetse from a 40-year-old colony are still competitive in a Riparian forest in Burkina Faso. PLoS ONE, 7(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037124