A rare case of human trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma evansi

Powar, R. M.; Shegokar, V. R.; Joshi, P. P.; Dani, V. S.; Tankhiwale, N. S.; Truc, P.; Jannin, J.; Bhargava, A.
January 2006
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Jan2006, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p72
Academic Journal
journal article
Human trypanosoma infections like the ones seen in Africa and South America are unknown in India. The only exception in literature is of two documented cases of a self-limiting febrile illness, being attributed to Trypanosoma lewisi like parasites. We are reporting an unusual case of trypanosomiasis from the rural parts of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra. An adult male farmhand who used to practice veterinary medicine also, presented with history of febrile episodes on and off since five months and drowsiness before admission to this Institute. Though routine blood and other investigations were within normal limits, the peripheral smear showed a large number of trypanosomes which morphologically resembled the species Trypanosoma evansi, the aetiological agent of surra - a form of animal trypanosomiasis. A battery of assays covering the spectrum of parasitology, serology, and molecular biology confirmed the infecting parasite to be T. evansi. Failure to demonstrate the central nervous system (CNS) involvement, as evidenced by the absence of parasite in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) advocated the use of suramin - the drug of choice in early stage African trypanosomiasis without any CNS involvement. Suramin achieved cure in our patient. The case is being reported because of its unique nature as the patient was not immunocompromised and showed infestation with a parasite which normally does not affect human beings.


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