Last reviewed 01/2018
African trypanosomiasis results from infection with a species of Trypanosoma brucei. In general, infected areas lie south of the Sahara and north of the Zambezi River.
- Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, found in west and central Africa, causes a slow wasting illness (gambiense sleeping sickness)
- Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense causes a more rapidly progressive illness. It is found in east and southern Africa.
The organism gains access to the body via a bite from an infected tsetse fly, and spreads to lymph nodes, blood, spleen, heart and the brain.