Trypanosoma brucei is caused by a flagellated protozoan, which is a unicellular eukaryotic organism.
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 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.
This parasite is transmitted during bite from an infected tsetse fly, which has a painful bite.
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.
In the first stage of disease, individuals often suffer from a recurring fever due to antigenic variation and evasion of the immune system.
Trypanosoma brucei, a causative agent of trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness,
has evolved a remarkable capacity for antigenic variation to evade the
antibody response elicited in infected humans. In the first stage of disease, individuals often suffer from a recurring fever due to antigenic variation and evasion of the immune system.
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.
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.
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 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.
Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.
*Average video play time: 2-3 minutes
Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)