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.
Sounds like we should be preventing infections,
right? Well, you're absolutely right.
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.
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.
Alright, those are the African trypanosomes.
Let's take a look at the American trypanosomes.