The trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness or Chaga’s disease, is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, T. gambiense and T. rhodesience. T. evansi causes the disease in animals which is called surra. The disease is widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical countries including India It is a metazoonosis transmitted by the bite of infected tsetse fly of Glossina genus. Other flies namely Tabanus, Haematopota, Lyperosia, Stomoxys spp. and Ornithodorus ticks are also involved in transmission of different species of Trypanosoma. Transmission also occurs through abrasion, wounds, mucous membranes or conjunctiva from contaminated faeces of flies or through blood transfusion from infected person. Congenital transmission and laboratory borne infections also recorded.
The disease starts with painful in duration and rise in temperature with chills, headache and nausea. Stiff neck, paralysis, lymphedenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, anaemia, myocarditis, meningoencephalitis and conjunctivitis are other consequences of infection.Trypanosomes can be demonstrated in blood smears or in lymph and cerebrospinal fluid. Guinea pig, mice and rat are used isolation of organisms. Serodiagnosis is done by complimentary fixation test, agglutination test, ELISA and immunofluorescence assay. Control of vectors and use of protective clothing and net may help in prevention of disease.