Information Center: Health, Antje Fischer, Pere P Simarro, Jose R Franco, Heiko Becher, and Dietmar Steverding

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Antje Fischer, Pere P Simarro, Jose R Franco, Heiko Becher, and Dietmar Steverding
December 3, 2001

We tested sera from patients previously treated for human African trypanosomiasis, from patients infected with trypanosomes, and from individuals never diagnosed with African trypanosomiasis living in the Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness focus of Mbini in Equatorial Guinea for their trypanolytic activity against bloodstream forms of T. b. rhodesiense expressing a metacyclic and bloodstream variant surface glycoprotein (VSG). Nearly 80% of the sera from treated patients showed high trypanolytic activity against trypanosomes expressing a metacyclic VSG. These results suggest that trypanolytic activity of sera increases after African sleeping sickness and is directed against trypanosomes expressing metacyclic VSG.

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