Summary of Trypanosoma brucei
Trypanosoma brucei is a species of parasitic protozoan that causes African trypanosomiasis, also known also as African sleeping sickness. Its two recognized subspecies are Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (southern and eastern Africa) and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (central and western Africa). The painful bite of the tsetse fly transmits the parasite, and the clinical syndrome is characterized by recurring fever (because of antigenic variation), enlarged lymph nodes, encephalitis (manifested in confusion and sleep cycle disruptions), and eventual coma. Treatment is with melarsoprol for central nervous system involvement and suramin for blood-borne infection.