Transmitted by the bite of the tsetse flu (Glossina spp.), African trypanosomiasis, of sleeping sickness is a serious infection caused by microscopic parasites of the species Trypanosoma brucei.

Although the infection is not found in the United States, historically, it has been a serious public health problem in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2014, 3,796 sleeping sickness cases were reported to the World Health Organization; T. b. gambiense accounted for >98% of cases. Many cases, however, are probably not recognized nor reported.

I recently had a long conversation with Associate Professor of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at USF Health, Sandra Gompf, MD about a myriad of infectious disease topics from her handy book, Gompf’s ID pearls and one on the topics I asked her about was African sleeping sickness.



Trypanosoma brucei parasites/CDC
Trypanosoma brucei parasites/CDC