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J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Jun 25;211(1-2):16-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Human African trypanosomiasis, chemotherapy and CNS disease.

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  • 1Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.


Trypanosomes have been recognised as human pathogens for over a century. Human African trypanosomiasis is endemic in an area sustaining 60 million people and is fatal without chemotherapeutic intervention. Available trypanocidal drugs require parenteral administration and are associated with adverse reactions including the development of a severe post-treatment reactive encephalopathy (PTRE). Following infection the parasites proliferate in the systemic compartment before invading the CNS where a cascade of events results in neuroinflammation. This review summarises the clinical manifestations of the infection and chemotherapeutic regimens as well as the current research findings and hypotheses regarding the neuropathogenesis of the disease.

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