Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wild animals may contribute to the resurgence of African sleeping sickness

Date:
January 17, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Wild animals may be a key contributor to the continuing spread of African sleeping sickness, new research shows. The West African form of the disease, also known as Gambiense Human African trypanosomiasis, affects around 10,000 people in Africa every year and is deadly if left untreated.

Wild animals may be a key contributor to the continuing spread of African sleeping sickness, new research published in PLOS Computational Biology shows. The West African form of the disease, also known as Gambiense Human African trypanosomiasis, affects around 10,000 people in Africa every year and is deadly if left untreated.

Related Articles


The disease is caused by a brain-invading parasite transmitted by bites of the tsetse fly, and gets its name from the hallmark symptoms of drowsiness and altered sleeping patterns that affect late-stage patients, along with other physical and neurological manifestations including manic episodes and hallucinations that eventually lead to coma and death.

Despite numerous previous studies showing that animals can be infected with the parasite, the prevailing view has been that the disease persisted in its traditional areas almost only because of human-to-human transmission. A new study, from an international team of researchers led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, challenges this assumption by using a mathematical model to show that the disease not only can persist in an area even when there are no human cases, but probably requires the presence of infected wild animals to maintain the chain of transmission. The authors' model was based on data collected in active screening campaigns between November 1998 and February 1999 in the Bipindi area of Cameroon. One of the species in the data group was the White-eyelid mangabey, pictured below.

The research provides an attractive explanation for why sleeping sickness survives in places which have undergone intensive efforts to find and treat infected people in the community. It suggests that efforts to eliminate the disease must factor in the wild animal populations.

"This research suggests that targeting human populations alone, the main current control strategy, might not be enough to control the disease," says Sebastian Funk, the lead author of the study. "Maintenance of transmission in wild animal populations could explain the reappearance of sleeping sickness in humans after years without cases."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian Funk, Hiroshi Nishiura, Hans Heesterbeek, W. John Edmunds, Francesco Checchi. Identifying Transmission Cycles at the Human-Animal Interface: The Role of Animal Reservoirs in Maintaining Gambiense Human African Trypanosomiasis. PLoS Computational Biology, 2013; 9 (1): e1002855 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002855

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Wild animals may contribute to the resurgence of African sleeping sickness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183349.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, January 17). Wild animals may contribute to the resurgence of African sleeping sickness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183349.htm
Public Library of Science. "Wild animals may contribute to the resurgence of African sleeping sickness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183349.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins