African Trypanosomiasis

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also called sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease caused by a protozoa of the Trypanosoma genus transmitted by the bite of a tsetse fly (genus Glossina), that is found under its chronic form (average duration of 3 years) in western and central Africa (in case of the T. brucei gambiense sub-species), and under its acute form (lasting from few weeks to 6 months) in eastern and southern Africa (in case of the T. brucei rhodesiense sub-species). HAT comprises an initial hemo-lymphatic stage characterized by fever, weakness, musculoskeletal pain, anemia, and lymphadenopathy, along with dermatologic, cardiac and endocrine complications or hepatosplenomegaly, followed by a meningo-encephalitic stage characterized by neurologic involvement (sleep disturbances, psychiatric disorders, seizures) that progresses, in the absence of treatment, towards a fatal meningoencephalitis.