The Other Trypanosome
: A Proton NMR Approach to the Culture and Extracellular Metabolomics of Trypanosoma congolense

  • Alexander Rought-Rought

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research (MScR)


Trypanosoma congolense has fallen by the wayside as a parasite of interest and yet remains a critical threat to animals and economic stability across the African continent. The present study aimed to refocus research on this clinically relevant species and establish improved culture methodology based upon a quantitative proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) approach for each life stage of T. congolense. In doing so the metabolism of T. congolense was re-examined after decades of neglect and utilising modern techniques minimal media was obtained for procyclic culture. This led onto metabolic investigations of epimastigote and bloodstream form T. congolense and further media revisions were recommended for these lifecycle stages. In each instance significant differences were observed in the substrate preferences of T. congolense and the metabolic end products generated when compared with historical observations, as well as contemporary research into the closely related Trypanosoma brucei and other trypanosomatids. The simple and relatively inexpensive process of 1H NMR has proven an invaluable tool to achieve these results and could be applied in the culture and investigation of other clinically relevant species such as Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanosoma evansi.
Date of Award23 Jan 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorWendy C Gibson (Supervisor) & Gary L A Barker (Supervisor)

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