Trojan Bacteria Conquer Sleeping Sickness with Single Domain Antibody

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Sleeping sickness caused by trypanosoma brucei can be transmitted to other people or animals through by tsetse flies. According to a new research paper published on the open-access journal Microbial Cell Factories by BioMed Central on February 15, 2012, researchers use a kind of single domain antibodies released by tsetse flies under natural environment to defense against these trypanosomata, which means that this kind of single domain antibodies play a similar role as Trojan horses. They are the first step in making specific single domain antibodies that can kill or stunt the growth of trypanosomata.

Sleeping sickness threatens millions of lives living in sub-Saharan Africa. In the first stage (hemolymph stage) of trypanosoma brucei infection, its symptoms are fever, headache, joint pain and itching. After this parasite infection across the BBB and enters the second stage (nerves stage), it leads to thoughts confusion, poor coordination and sleep disorders. This disease is fatal without timely treatment. The diagnosis and treatment of this disease, however, are not easy. Only those who have received special training can handle. After infected by trypanosome, bovines can be anemic and may even die from anemia. The comprehensive conclusion is that trypanosomata have brought serious negative effect to public health and agricultural development throughout the African continent.

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