Human African Trypanosomaisis A.K.A. African Sleeping Sickness

919 words - 4 pages

The Human African Trypanosomiasis, more commonly referred to as African sleeping sickness, is a biological vector-borne parasitic ("Trypanosomiasis, human african," 2014). The communicable infection is caused by protozoan parasite of the genus Trypanosoma. Transmission occurs to humans by tsetse flies bites. The tsetse flies acquire infection when feeding on blood containing trypomastigotes from infected humans or animals. The parasite will go through asexual reproduction in the fly gut, evolving from a procyclic trypomastigotes to epimastigotes. Eventually moving to the salivary glands of the Tsetse fly where they transform to a metacyclic trypomastigote, which is infectious to humans. Transmission from fly to human happens when an infected tsetse fly passes metacyclic trypomastigotes within the saliva into the blood while feeding. This then becomes trypomastigotes and will proliferate in the blood and other bodily fluids, which leads to disease (Krafsur, 2008). In Africa the tsetse flies inhabit the greenery around rivers, ponds and lakes additionally the disease has posed an immediate health & economic problem across Sub-Saharan Africa.
There are two types of the protozoan parasite disease that infect humans. Trypanosoma rhodesiense East African sleeping sickness is found in areas of eastern and southeastern Africa. Well over 95% of human infection takes place in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia. The primary reservoir for the infection is animals. Cattle are being looked at in the spread of the disease to uninfected areas where new outbreaks occur. Also wild animal are thought to be responsible scattered transmission to outdoor enthusiast and hunters visiting Africa’s publicized game parks. The Infection has found its way to international travelers but case are far and few. Very rarely dose the disease has found its way to the U.S., where one case per year, is diagnosed. Approximately cases of sleeping sickness imported into the U.S. have been from travelers who participated in safaris in East Africa ("CDC," 2013).
Trypanosoma brucei gambiense is found in 24 countries in Western Africa, currently is responsible for 98% of reported sleeping sickness infections. T.b.gambiense is also transmitted by way of the painful bite of the tsetse fly and presents itself in two stages. The first of which is the hemolymphatic stage. This is when the parasite divides in the subcutaneous tissue, the blood and lymph. This stage shows signs of fever, headaches, joint aches, and itching (World Health Organization, 2014).
The second stage, more commonly known as the encephalitic stage is when the parasite has moved past the blood-brain barrier settled in the central nervous system. In the T. b. rhodesiense infection takes place within a few weeks. But T. b. gambiense can take months or years to develop. During this...

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