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Trypanosoma brucei

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Trypanosoma brucei

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High Yield Notes
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Trypanosoma brucei

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

1 questions
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A 17-year-old girl comes to the clinic with complaints of a painless, ulcerated mass on her forearm, headaches, recurring low-grade fevers, malaise, and arthralgias. She returned from a summer mission trip to Africa 3 weeks ago. She does recall having a painful insect bite. Physical examination shows generalized lymphadenopathy, and a well-circumscribed, rubbery, painless, indurated, erythematous chancre 3 cm in diameter on her right forearm. Peripheral blood smear shows trypanosomes. Which of the following vectors most likely transmits the offending organism?

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Summary
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.