Epidemiological evidence for immunity following trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness

Nzambi Khonde, Jacques Pépin, Théophile Niyonsenga, FranÇois Milord, Philippe De Wals

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28 Citations (Scopus)


In order to investigate whether protective immunity appears after Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness, we undertook a retrospective cohort study of 3 remote villages in central Zaire (total population 1431), in which 38%of all adults had a past history of human African trypanosomiasis. Among adults previously diagnosed with trypanosomiasis and treated, the risk of a second episode of trypanosomiasis during the 10 years period of observation was only 15% (with a 24 months refractory period) and 30% (without a refractory period) of the risk of a first episode in adults never previously diagnosed. Wecould not demonstrate a similar difference amon children, to some extent because only a few of them were diagnosed for a first time with trypanosomiasis. Our findings suggest that very significant immunity appears after Gambian sleeping sickness, and that developing a vaccine against this subspecies of trypanosomes is biologically plausible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


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