African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness)

African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness) is a disease caused by infection of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Trypanosomoa brucei gambiense germ. Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection is the most severe of the two. Infection is acquired by bites from tsetse flies,  which is carried via the blood-stream. The disease occurs in 36 sub-Saharan African countries where the tsetse fly thrives. The disease can be found in mainly rural areas. Symptoms include: uncontrollable sleepiness, swollen lymph nodes all over the body, weakness, inflammation of the heart. Sleeping sickness should be treated immediately. The longer the infection the worse the symptoms. One can die in 6 month from heart failure.
 
Prevention:
  • Pentamidine injections protect against T. gambiense, but is toxic, so it is rarily used for prevention.
Cure:
  • Eflornithine (for T. gambiense only)
  • Melarsoprol
  • Pentamidine
  • Suramin (Antrypol)
  • Some patients may receive combination therapy

Works Cited

Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs259/en/>

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Sleeping sicknessAfrican trypanosomiasis <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002338/>