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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 340538, 9 pages
Review Article

Towards Point-of-Care Diagnostic and Staging Tools for Human African Trypanosomiaisis

1School of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
2Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Budé 16, Avenue 1202, Geneva, Switzerland
3School of Veterinary Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4343, Australia

Received 19 July 2011; Accepted 17 January 2012

Academic Editor: Emad William Mohareb

Copyright © 2012 Enock Matovu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human African trypanosomiasis is a debilitating disease prevalent in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Control of this disease almost exclusively relies on chemotherapy that should be driven by accurate diagnosis, given the unacceptable toxicity of the few available drugs. Unfortunately, the available diagnostics are characterised by low sensitivities due to the inherent low parasitaemia in natural infections. Demonstration of the trypanosomes in body fluids, which is a prerequisite before treatment, often follows complex algorithms. In this paper, we review the available diagnostics and explore recent advances towards development of novel point-of-care diagnostic tests.