Medicine & USMLE

Trypanosoma brucei

  1. Giardia lamblia
  2. Toxoplasma gondii
  3. Entamoeba histolytica
  4. Cryptosporidium
  5. Naegleria fowleri
  6. Trypanosoma brucei
  7. Plasmodium Overview
  8. Plasmodium Disease (Malaria)
  9. Babesia
  10. Trypanosoma cruzi
  11. Leishmania
  12. Trichomonas vaginalis
  13. Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm)
  14. Ascaris lumbricoides (giant roundworm)
  15. Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm)
  16. Ancylostoma and Necator
  17. Trichinella spiralis
  18. Trichuris trichiura (whipworm)
  19. Toxocara canis
  20. Onchocerca volvulus
  21. Loa loa
  22. Wuchereria bancrofti
  23. Taenia solium
  24. Diphyllobothrium latum
  25. Echinococcus granulosus
  26. Schistosoma
  27. Clonorchis sinensis
  28. Sarcoptes scabiei (Scabies)
  29. Pediculus humanis and Phthirus pubis (Lice)


Trypanosoma brucei, or T. brucei for short, is a protozoan parasite transmitted by the Tsetse fly, which is endemic to Africa. Infections with T. Brucei cause African trypanosomiasis, which is also called the African sleeping sickness. Early infections present with a chancre or sore at the fly bite site as well as lymphadenopathy. Late findings of infection include Meningoencephalitis and sleep disturbances. An infection is clinically diagnosed by visualizing the parasitic trypanosomes under the microscope. Treatments include a range of anti-parasitic drugs, including pentamidine, eflornithine and nifurtimox.

Key Points

  • Trypanosoma brucei 
    • Transmission
      • Transmitted by Tsetse fly
        • Endemic in Africa
    • Presentation: African trypanosomiasis
      • Also known as African sleeping sickness
        • Early infection
          • Chancre at bite site (MB)
          • Lymphadenopathy 
        • Late infection
          • Meningoencephalitis
            • Sleeping disturbance is often seen
    • Diagnosis
      • Trypanosomes visualized under microscopy
    • Treatment
      • Pentamidine is first-line for acute infection
      • Eflornithine and nifurtimox is first-line for late infection