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      Eliminating Human African Trypanosomiasis: Where Do We Stand and What Comes Next>

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          While the number of new detected cases of HAT is falling, say the authors, sleeping sickness could suffer the "punishment of success," receiving lower priority by public and private health institutions.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Glossina austeni (Diptera: Glossinidae) eradicated on the island of Unguja, Zanzibar, using the sterile insect technique.

          An area-wide integrated tsetse eradication project was initiated in Zanzibar in 1994 by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the governments of Tanzania and Zanzibar, to eradicate Glossina austeni Newstead from Unguja Island (Zanzibar) using the sterile insect technique. Suppression of the tsetse population on Unguja was initiated in 1988 by applying residual pyrethroids as a pour-on formulation to livestock and by the deployment of insecticide impregnated screens in some of the forested areas. This was followed by sequential releases of gamma-sterilized male flies by light aircraft. The flies, packaged in carton release containers, were dispersed twice a week along specific flight lines separated by a distance of 1-2 km. More than 8.5 million sterile male flies were released by air from August 1994 to December 1997. A sterile to indigenous male ratio of >50:1 was obtained in mid-1995 and it increased to >100:1 by the end of 1995. As a consequence the proportion of sampled young females (1-2 ovulations), with an egg in utero in embryonic arrest or an uterus empty as a result of expulsion of a dead embryo, increased from 70% in the last quarter of 1995. In addition, the age structure of the female population became significantly distorted in favor of old flies (> or = 4 ovulations) by the end of 1995. The apparent density of the indigenous fly population declined rapidly in the last quarter of 1995, followed by a population crash in the beginning of 1996. The last trapped indigenous male and female flies were found in weeks 32 and 36, 1996, respectively. Time for 6 fly generations elapsed between the last catch of an indigenous fly and the end of the sterile male releases in December 1997.
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            Options for field diagnosis of human african trypanosomiasis.

            Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) due to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense remains highly prevalent in several rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and is lethal if left untreated. Therefore, accurate tools are absolutely required for field diagnosis. For T. b. gambiense HAT, highly sensitive tests are available for serological screening but the sensitivity of parasitological confirmatory tests remains insufficient and needs to be improved. Screening for T. b. rhodesiense infection still relies on clinical features in the absence of serological tests available for field use. Ongoing research is opening perspectives for a new generation of field diagnostics. Also essential for both forms of HAT is accurate determination of the disease stage because of the high toxicity of melarsoprol, the drug most widely used during the neurological stage of the illness. Recent studies have confirmed the high accuracy of raised immunoglobulin M levels in the cerebrospinal fluid for the staging of T. b. gambiense HAT, and a promising simple assay (LATEX/IgM) is being tested in the field. Apart from the urgent need for better tools for the field diagnosis of this neglected disease, improved access to diagnosis and treatment for the population at risk remains the greatest challenge for the coming years.
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              Loop-mediated isothermal amplification for detection of African trypanosomes.

              While PCR is a method of choice for the detection of African trypanosomes in both humans and animals, the expense of this method negates its use as a diagnostic method for the detection of endemic trypanosomiasis in African countries. The loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) reaction is a method that amplifies DNA with high specificity, efficiency, and rapidity under isothermal conditions with only simple incubators. An added advantage of LAMP over PCR-based methods is that DNA amplification can be monitored spectrophotometrically and/or with the naked eye without the use of dyes. Here we report our conditions for a highly sensitive, specific, and easy diagnostic assay based on LAMP technology for the detection of parasites in the Trypanosoma brucei group (including T. brucei brucei, T. brucei gambiense, T. brucei rhodesiense, and T. evansi) and T. congolense. We show that the sensitivity of the LAMP-based method for detection of trypanosomes in vitro is up to 100 times higher than that of PCR-based methods. In vivo studies in mice infected with human-infective T. brucei gambiense further highlight the potential clinical importance of LAMP as a diagnostic tool for the identification of African trypanosomiasis.

                Author and article information

                PLoS Med
                PLoS Medicine
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                February 2008
                26 February 2008
                : 5
                : 2
                Author notes
                * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: simarrop@ 123456who.int
                Copyright: © 2008 Simarro et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 7
                Neglected Diseases
                Infectious Diseases
                Public Health and Epidemiology
                Infectious Diseases
                Medicine in Developing Countries
                International Health
                Custom metadata
                Simarro PP, Jannin J, Cattand P (2008) Eliminating human African trypanosomiasis: Where do we stand and what comes next? PLoS Med 5(2): e55. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050055



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