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A Rude Awakening for Sleeping Sickness

Posted Jan 22 2013 5:30am

American scientists have made a discovery that may lead to new cures for Sleeping Sickness.

African trypanosomiasisA tropical disease caused by parasites., known generally as Sleeping Sickness, is a tropical disease responsible for a great deal of misery in Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is caused by a parasite, spread by the ubiquitous bloodA fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid.-sucking Tsetse Fly. Thousands of Africans are infected every year by the disease, with numerous fatalities. What’s more, it can infect livestock as well as humans, causing further economic difficulties in these struggling countries.

Until this date, treatments for Sleeping Sickness have come with their own plethorae of unpleasant, indeed sometimes deadly, side effects.

But a team at the University of Georgia (Atlanta) have found that the parasite relies on a particular chemical mechanism that could, hypothetically, be switched off.

Further research in this area ought to yield better and less problematic treatments for Sleeping Sickness.

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