Master Trypanosoma Brucei with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Trypanosoma Brucei

Trapeze Bruce Lee
Picmonic
Trypanosoma brucei is a flagellated protozoan that causes the disease African sleeping sickness. This disease is transmitted by the tsetse fly which has a painful bite and is endemic in regions of Africa. The disease symptoms occur in two stages. The first is known as the hemo-lymphatic stage and is characterized by fever, headaches, and joint pain. These fevers are usually recurring due to antigenic variation leading to evasion of the immune system. The parasites can invade the circulatory and lymphatic system causing severe swelling of the lymph nodes. The second phase is called the neurological phase and occurs when the protozoa invades the central nervous system and can cause an encephalitis. Symptoms include confusion and disruption of the sleep cycle with episodes of fatigue interrupted by manic periods. There are two subspecies of this organism that cause disease including T. gambiense and T. rhodesiense. Trypanosoma gambiense is found in west and central Africa and accounts for over 95% of the reported cases of sleeping sickness. This form often causes a chronic infection where a person can be infected for months to years without major signs of disease. When symptoms emerge, the individual often already has advanced disease. Trypanosoma rhodesiense is found in eastern and southern Africa and accounts for less than 5% of reported cases. Unlike T. gambiense, the first signs and symptoms are seen within a few weeks to months after infection, and disease develops rapidly with invasion of the CNS. This disease is fatal without treatment, which consists of suramine for blood borne disease and the addition of melarsoprol when the CNS is involved. 
12 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Protozoa
Propeller-protozoa

Trypanosoma brucei is caused by a flagellated protozoan, which is a unicellular eukaryotic organism.

Trypanosoma Gambiense
Gumby

Trypanosoma gambiense is found in west and central Africa, and accounts for over 95% of the reported cases of sleeping sickness. This form often causes a chronic infection, where a person can be infected for months to years without major signs of disease. When symptoms emerge, the individual often already has advanced disease.

Trypanosoma Rhodesiense
Rodeo

Trypanosoma rhodesiense is found in eastern and southern Africa and accounts for less than 5% of reported cases. Unlike T. gambiense, the first signs and symptoms are seen within a few weeks to months after infection, and disease develops rapidly with invasion of the CNS.

Tsetse Fly
Titty Fly

This parasite is transmitted by the tsetse fly, which is a large brown, biting fly that is a host and vector for this organism. The infected tsetse fly injects Trypomastigotes into skin tissue during a bite.

DISEASE
Painful Bite
Painful Bite from Large Fangs

This parasite is transmitted during bite from an infected tsetse fly, which has a painful bite.

African Sleeping Sickness
African Sleeping Princess

This organism causes the disease known as African sleeping sickness because it is endemic in Africa, and causes confusion with altered sleep cycles when it invades the CNS.

Recurring Fever
Recurring Fever-beavers in Whack-a-mole game

In the first stage of disease, individuals often suffer from a recurring fever due to antigenic variation and evasion of the immune system.

Due to Antigenic Variation
Varying Ant-gems

In the first stage of disease, individuals often suffer from a recurring fever due to antigenic variation and evasion of the immune system.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Lymph-limes

The parasites can invade the circulatory and lymphatic system causing severe swelling of the lymph nodes, often to tremendous sizes. Individuals may have extensive swelling of lymph nodes along the back of the neck, called Winterbottom's sign, which is characteristic of this disease.

Encephalitis
Brain-in-flames

This organism can cause encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, when the protozoa invades the blood-brain barrier and attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms include confusion and disruption of the sleep cycle, with episodes of fatigue interrupted by manic periods.

TREATMENT
Suramin for Blood-Borne Disease
Syrup-man and Blood-vessels

Suramin is used for the treatment of African sleeping sickness. It can be used alone when there is only evidence of blood-borne disease.

Melarsoprol for CNS Penetration
Mail box soap cleaning beaver head

Melarsoprol is used in the treatment of African sleeping sickness. This drug can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, and is used for treatment when there is evidence of CNS penetration.

Unlock all 12 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Trypanosoma Brucei Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medical (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 860,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medical (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medical (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medical (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.