Résumé : In Trypanosoma brucei, the activation of the variant-specific antigen gene AnTat 1.1 proceeds by the synthesis of an additional gene copy, the AnTat 1.1 ELC, which is transposed to a new location, the expression site, where it is transcribed. Using the AnTat 1.1 variant to infect flies, we investigated the fate of the AnTat 1.1 ELC during cyclic transmission of T. brucei. We show here that the AnTat 1.1 ELC is conserved in procyclic trypanosomes, obtained either from the midgut of infected Glossina or from cultures, and in metacyclic trypanosomes, although the AnTat 1.1 serotype is not detected among metacyclic antigen types. This same AnTat 1.1 ELC, which is thus silent as the parasite develops in the insect vector, can be reactivated without duplication during the first parasitemia wave following cyclical transmission. This re-expression of the conserved ELC accounts for the early appearance of the 'ingested' antigenic type after passage through the fly.