Category: Illness or disabilities
Introduction and description
Trypanosomiasis or trypanosomosis is the name of several diseases caused by parasitic protozoan trypanosomes of the genus Trypanosoma.
In humans this includes African trypanosomiasis - sleeping sickness - and Chagas disease, for which we have a separate section.
Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is transmitted by the tsetse fly. There are two subspecies that infect humans, T.b. gambiense and T.b. rhodesiense, with the former accounting for over 95% of reported cases and the latter accounting for the remaining reported cases.
The disease is endemic in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa, covering areas in 36 countries containing more than 60 million people. A recent study estimates that the total African population at risk of contracting sleeping sickness is 69.3 million people. In addition to the bite of the tsetse fly, the disease can be transmitted by:
- Mother-to-child infection: the trypanosome can sometimes cross the placenta and infect the fetus.
- Laboratories: accidental infections, for example, through the handling of blood of an infected person and organ transplantation, although this is uncommon.
- Blood transfusion
- Sexual contact
Sleeping sickness causes death through brain damage
The tsetse fly bite erupts into a red chancre sore and within a few weeks, the person can experience fever, swollen lymph glands, blood in urine, aching muscles and joints, headaches and irritability.
In the first phase, the patient has only intermittent bouts of fever with lymphadenopathy together with other non-specific signs and symptoms.
The second stage of the disease is marked by involvement of the central nervous system with extensive neurological effects like changes in personality, alteration of the biological clock (the circadian rhythm), confusion, slurred speech, hallucinations and psychosis, 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.
A number of pharmaceuticals treat the symptoms, but as Wikipedia notes “none of the therapies available are optimal in terms of adverse events and ease of administration”.
Far more study is being devoted to the use of nutrition and plants as a possible route of actually addressing the cause. We will post observations on this research as they become available.
- Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi and cytotoxic activities of Eugenia uniflora L 019956
- Antitrypanosomal activity of aloin and its derivatives against Trypanosoma congolense field isolate 020989
- Dr Duke's list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Prunella vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae) -- Heal-All, Self-Heal 018270
- Dr Duke's list of plants with a number of chemicals with Antitrypanosomic Activity 018271
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Antitrypanosomic Activity of high potency 018272
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Trypanocide activity 018291
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Trypanocide Activity of high chemical potency 018290
- Dr Duke’s list of Antiparasitic Activities in: Ailanthus altissima -- Stinktree, Tree Of Heaven 018308
- Flavonoids and lignans from Virola surinamensis twigs and their in vitro activity against Trypanosoma cruzi 018284
- In vitro activities of plant extracts from Saudi Arabia against malaria, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness and Chagas disease. 022065
- Stephen Harrod Buhner - Herbal Antivirals - Ginger 017501
- Summary of Antipathogenic Activities in: Phellodendron amurense -- Amur Cork Tree, Huang Bai, Huang Po, Po Mu 018332
- Summary of Dr Duke’s analysis showing the Antipathogenic Activities in: Azadirachta indica -- Neem 018320
- The Healing Power of Sleep 026790
- Trypanocidal activity of guaianolide obtained from Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz-Bip. and its combinational effect with benznidazole 020065