Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

African Sleeping Sickness Could Be Transmitted Through Skin

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

Trypanosomes

The findings could change the way doctors treat and manage the spread of the illness.

Tweetables from this article:

Tweet: Human skin biopsies taken from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of #Africansleepingsickness parasites http://ctt.ec/2T2Eo+Human skin biopsies taken from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of African sleeping sickness parasites.

Share this!

September 26, 2016 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow's Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology and the Institut Pasteur in Paris, have discovered that African Trypanosomiasis – more commonly known as African sleeping sickness – can also be transmitted through the skin. The findings could change the way doctors treat and manage the spread of the illness.

The primary route of transmission of the disease-causing parasite is through the bite of the tsetse fly. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal, which leads to the death of thousands of those in Sub-Saharan Africa every year.

In the current study, the researchers found that a significant number of disease-causing trypanosomes can be found within the skin of infected animals, which are capable of being transferred back to the tsetse fly vector upon contact. Alarmingly, these parasites could be detected even in individuals with no symptoms of the disease, and no detectable level of trypanosomes in the blood.

What’s more, human skin biopsies taken from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of parasites. According to the researchers, the trypanosomes found within the skin could be sufficient to spread the disease among individuals.



“Our results have important implications with regard to the eradication of sleeping sickness,” said Dr. Annette MacLeod, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow. “Firstly, our findings indicate that current diagnostic methods, which rely on observing parasites in the blood, should be re-evaluated and should include examining the skin for parasites. In terms of treatment, it may also be necessary to develop novel therapeutics capable of targeting sources of infection outside the blood circulation and in the reservoirs underneath the skin.”

According to MacLeod, the new findings make reevaluating current disease control practices a necessity. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently mandates that unless parasites are detected in a patient’s blood, asymptomatic individuals should not be treated. This policy was established on account of the high toxicity and long treatment duration of the current therapy.

“This policy should be reconsidered in light of our compelling evidence that these patients represent a carrier population,” said MacLeod. “This is because their lack of treatment may help maintain disease outbreaks and explain previously thwarted efforts to eliminate this major pathogen.”


Keywords: Parasite, WHO, Disease Transmission


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Better Meal Planning for Diabetics Using a Predictive Blood Sugar App

April 21, 2017 - A new app could allow people with type 2 diabetes to make predictions about the impact of a meal on their blood sugar levels, before they even take a bite.

Featured In: Life Science News


Bacterial Biomarkers Could Make Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer Less Invasive

April 20, 2017 - Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health have identified specific strains of gut bacteria which have been associated with colorectal cancer.

Featured In: Life Science News


Weetabix Cereal Sold to Post in £1.4 Billion Deal

April 20, 2017 - The cereal was sold by Shanghai-based Bright Food, which acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2012.

Featured In: Food News

LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS LIFE SCIENCE BLOG

What Medical Device Manufacturers Need to Know Before Developing a Biological Safety Evaluation

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

Electronic Informed Consent: 2017 Industry Survey Results


Critical CRO Oversight Metrics: How to Establish the Right Metrics and Monitor them in Real-Time


The Modernization of eCOA Technology for Clinical Trials


Developing a Biological Safety Evaluation


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.