A patient arrives in to a clinic in West Africa after having been bitten by a Tsetse fly and are complaining about swollen lymph nodes on the back of the neck. A blood smear has shown the presence of trypanosomes in the blood. How can this information be used to distinguish which HAT parasite they are infected with? Is this likely an early or late stage of infection? What kind of drug treatment would you recommend?
HAT caused by T. b.gambiense has an average duration of 3 years,
with the two stages evenly divided between the length of the
disease. The most common symptoms the first stage Swelling of the
posterior cervical lymph nodes.
In the second stage of the disease, sleep disturbances and neurological disorders dominate. Headache, mood and behaviour all changes are commonly found due to the meningoencephalitis caused by the trypanosomes invading the central nervous system.
Early stage of infection.
Pentamidine and suramin are used in the first or early stage of T.b.gambiense.
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