Trypanosomosis

Trypanosomiasis
Classification and external resources
10 9 MeSH D014352

Trypanosomiasis or trypanosomosis is the name of several diseases in vertebrates caused by parasitic protozoan trypanosomes of the genus Trypanosoma. Approximately 500,000 men, women, and children in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa suffer from human African trypanosomiasis, which is caused by either Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. The other human form of trypanosomiasis, called Chagas disease, causes 21,000 deaths per year [1] (mainly in Latin America).

Animal trypanosomiases

  • Nagana, or Animal African trypanosomiasis, also called 'Souma' or 'Soumaya' in Sudan.
  • Surra
  • Mal de caderas (of central South America)
  • Murrina de caderas (of Panama; Derrengadera de caderas)
  • Dourine
  • Cachexial fevers (various)
  • Gambian horse sickness (of central Africa)
  • Baleri (of Sudan)
  • Kaodzera (Rhodesian trypanosomiasis)
  • Tahaga (a disease of camels in Algeria)
  • Galziekte, galzietzke (bilious fever of cattle; gall sickness of South Africa)
  • Peste-boba (of Venezuela; Derrengadera)

Some species of cattle such as the African buffalo, N'dama, and Keteku appear trypanotolerant and do not suffer from clinical disease. Calves are more resistant than adults.

Clinical signs and diagnosis

Cattle may show enlarged lymph nodes and internal organs. Haemolytic anaemia is a characteristic sign. Systemic disease and reproductie are common, and cattle appear to waste away.

Horses with dourine show signs of ventral and genital edema and urticaria.

Infected dogs and cats may show severe systemic signs.

Diagnosis relies on recognition of the flagellate on a blood smear. Motile organisms may be visible in the buffy coat when a blood sample is spun down. Serological testing is also common.

In humans the tsetse fly bite erupts into a red sore and within a few weeks the person can experience fever, swollen lymph glands, aching muscles and joints, headaches and irritability. In advanced stages, the disease attacks the central nervous system and people present with changes in personality, alteration of the biological clock (the circadian rhythm), confusion, slurred speech, seizures and difficulty in walking and talking. These problems can develop over many years and if not treated, the person dies. It is common to the African continent.

Treatment and prevention