Trypanosomiasis, human African
Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a widespread tropical disease that can be fatal if not treated. It is spread by the bite of an infected tsetse fly (Glossina Genus).
The tsetse fly bite erupts into a red sore and within a few weeks the person can experience fever, swollen lymph glands, aching muscles and joints, headaches and irritability.
In advanced stages, the disease attacks the central nervous system, causing changes in personality, alteration of the biological clock (the circadian rhythm), confusion, slurred speech, seizures, and difficulty walking and talking. These problems can develop over many years in the Gambiense form and some months in the Rhodesiense form; if not treated, the person will die.
Control of sleeping sickness is based on reduction of the reservoirs of infection by early diagnosis and control of tsetse flies.
TDR related research
TDR supports research on this disease. Our work is being conducted in the following areas:
More information about our activities relating to human African trypanosomiasis:
- Vectors, environment and society research
- Disease-specific reference groups
- TDR research on vector control and ecosystem management
WHO estimates investments needed for neglected tropical diseases
Scientific group on vectors, environment and society meets
The impact of changing climate on vector-borne diseases
After ten years, the tsetse genome has been mapped
Research Priorities for Chagas Disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis
Changing Mindsets: Research Capacity strengthening in low and middle-income countries
A human rights-based approach to neglected tropical diseases
Strategic and business plan for the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI)
All TDR publications on human African trypanosomiasis
Related links from WHO
- WHO fact sheet: human African trypanosomiasis
- WHO programmes information: human African trypanosomiasis
- WHO health topics: African trypanosomiasis
- Data: human African trypanosomiasis
- Information resources: human African trypanosomiasis
- All past events/information related to human African trypanosomiasis