African Trypanosomiasis: Treatment and Prevention

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    00:01 We can give drugs to treat Trypanosome infections, but only before the CNS stage, once the parasites are in the CNS, drugs don't get into the CNS very effectively and they cannot be treated well. This drug is called eflornithine, another one that's used is pentamidine, and also suramin can be used. If you're familiar with AIDS treatment, this used to be a drug that was once used to treat AIDS. Again, if you catch infection early, you can treat it and eliminate the parasite with these drugs, so you have to be able to do early diagnosis in areas where this parasite is endemic. This is logistically not a very easy thing to do.

    00:49 Sounds like we should be preventing infections, right? Well, you're absolutely right.

    00:53 How do we do that? Try to minimize your contact with tsetse flies. Not so easy to do in places where they are buzzing everywhere and they are present because they like to feed on animals as well as humans. If you can, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants of medium or heavy weight in neutral colors. Now this may sound like something that is very difficult to achieve, by the way, you don't have to wear a tie as shown in this picture, you just need to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Why do we have to have this very specific color and weight preference? Flies happen to be attracted to bright or dark colors, at either end, so wear something of intermediate colors and they can bite right through lightweight clothing.

    01:40 So you have a shirt that's very light because it's hot out, don’t wear it, they are going to bite right through it. Of course these are not ways that can be adopted by everyone, especially if you don't have the money to afford clothes that cover all of your body.

    01:54 Alright, those are the African trypanosomes. Let's take a look at the American trypanosomes.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture African Trypanosomiasis: Treatment and Prevention by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Parasites.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. CNS stage
    2. Larva stage
    3. Spleen stage
    4. GIT stage
    5. Liver stage

    Author of lecture African Trypanosomiasis: Treatment and Prevention

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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