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The evolution of pathogenic trypanosomes

Overview of attention for article published in Cadernos de saúde pública, October 1999
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The evolution of pathogenic trypanosomes
Published in
Cadernos de saúde pública, October 1999
DOI 10.1590/s0102-311x1999000400002
Pubmed ID

Jamie R. Stevens, Wendy C. Gibson


In the absence of a fossil record, the evolution of protozoa has until recently largely remained a matter for speculation. However, advances in molecular methods and phylogenetic analysis are now allowing interpretation of the "history written in the genes". This review focuses on recent progress in reconstruction of trypanosome phylogeny based on molecular data from ribosomal RNA, the miniexon and protein-coding genes. Sufficient data have now been gathered to demonstrate unequivocally that trypanosomes are monophyletic; the phylogenetic trees derived can serve as a framework to reinterpret the biology, taxonomy and present day distribution of trypanosome species, providing insights into the coevolution of trypanosomes with their vertebrate hosts and vectors. Different methods of dating the divergence of trypanosome lineages give rise to radically different evolutionary scenarios and these are reviewed. In particular, the use of one such biogeographically based approach provides new insights into the coevolution of the pathogens, Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi, with their human hosts and the history of the diseases with which they are associated.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 49 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 2%
France 1 2%
Unknown 47 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 10 20%
Researcher 9 18%
Student > Master 6 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 8%
Other 4 8%
Other 11 22%
Unknown 5 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 49%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 7 14%
Immunology and Microbiology 4 8%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 2 4%
Environmental Science 1 2%
Other 3 6%
Unknown 8 16%