Article

New insights in staging and chemotherapy of African trypanosomiasis and possible contribution of medicinal plants.

Department of Neurological Sciences (DNNMMS), University of Verona, Via Delle Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy.
The Scientific World Journal (Impact Factor: 1.73). 01/2012; 2012:343652. DOI: 10.1100/2012/343652
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a fatal if untreated fly-borne neuroinflammatory disease caused by protozoa of the species Trypanosoma brucei (T.b.). The increasing trend of HAT cases has been reversed, but according to WHO experts, new epidemics of this disease could appear. In addition, HAT is still a considerable burden for life quality and economy in 36 sub-Saharan Africa countries with 15-20 million persons at risk. Following joined initiatives of WHO and private partners, the fight against HAT was re-engaged, resulting in considerable breakthrough. We present here what is known at this day about HAT etiology and pathogenesis and the new insights in the development of accurate tools and tests for disease staging and severity monitoring in the field. Also, we elaborate herein the promising progresses made in the development of less toxic and more efficient trypanocidal drugs including the potential of medicinal plants and related alternative drug therapies.

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