African Trypanosomiasis

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Submitted By kjb08
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African Trypanosomiasis is a systemic parasitic disease, which is caused by a protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of the tsetse flies which obtained the infection from humans and animals. Also known as African Sleeping Sickness, it is one of the most significant and abandoned tropical infections. Discovered in Africa during the period of 1894 – 1910, African Trypanosomiasis was identified by Sir David Bruce, Joseph Everett Dutton, Aldo Castellani, J.W.W. Stephens and H.B. Phantham. This infection occurs in two forms, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.
“During the period of 1894 – 1910, the cause of the sleeping sickness in humans and cattle was discovered. David Bruce identified trypanosomes in the blood of affected cattle and established that healthy game animals were host reservoirs of the disease. Trypanosoma brucei was identified in 1899 and in 1902 Joseph Everett Dutton along with Robert Ford were first to identify Trypanosoma brucei gambiense in a European patient. In 1903, working along with Bruce, Aldo Castellani identified trypanosomes in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with sleeping sickness. In 1910, J.W.W. Stephens and H.B. Phantham first described Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (3).”
Trypanosoma brucei is the protozoan that causes West African Sleeping Sickness and East African Sleeping Sickness. T. brucei has antigentic variations. Thus, by the time the body builds up an immune response against this pathogen, the pathogen has already altered its antigens and is unaffected by the antibodies (2). West African Sleeping Sickness or T. brucei gambiense, the more chronic of the two, is found in central and western Africa. This chronic condition can extend in a passive phase for months or years before symptoms emerge (4). Humans are the main reservoir…...

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