5 November 2011 (Saturday) - Trypanosomiasis

Trypanosomiasis is the generic name of several diseases in vertebrates (not just humans) caused by parasitic protozoan trypanosomes of the genus Trypanosoma.

Approximately 500,000 men, women and children in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa suffer from human African trypanosomiasis which is caused by either Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, transmitted by the tsetse fly infected with Trypanosoma brucei, (sleeping sickness)

The other human form of trypanosomiasis, (Chagas disease) causes 21,000 deaths per year  mainly in Latin America, transmitted by the assassin bug infected with Trypanosoma cruzi,

Diagnosis depends on seeing the parasites in blood or other bodily fluids. Presumably in the fullness of time antigen-type trsts might become available (as is the case for malaria)…

1 comment:

  1. We had a case of this disease in the north west of England. The patient had been on holiday abroad. We made a wet prep in the lab and marvelled at the wee beasties wriggling around in the patients blood. The patient was transferred to a specialist centre for treatment.