Human African Trypanosomiasis

  • Jacques Pépin
  • Honoré Méda
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by two subspecies of trypanosomes, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T.b. rhodesiense. Clinically, the disease is characterized by an early stage during which patients report non-specifi c symptoms such as fever and malaise, and trypanosomes are found in the blood or in lymph node aspirates. While in the case of T.b. rhodesiense this early stage develops within days of the infective bite and rapidly progresses over days or weeks to a severe disease, patients with T. b. gambiense HAT can remain asymptomatic for months or years, or have only intermittent fever. Eventually, when the disease progresses to the late stage with involvement of the central nervous system (CNS), the patients develop somnolence, constant headaches, behavior changes or other neurological symptoms, and trypanosomes are now found in the cerebrospinal fl uid (CSF). If untreated, this is ultimately fatal within a few months.


Treatment Failure Minimal Inhibitory Concen Human African Trypanosomiasis Trypanosoma Brucei African Trypanosome 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Pépin
    • 1
  • Honoré Méda
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for International HealthUniversity of SherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Catholic Relief ServicesKigaliRwanda

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