Imaging African trypanosomes

MacLean, L., Myburgh, E. , Rodgers, J. and Price, H.P. (2013) Imaging African trypanosomes. Parasite Immunology, 35(9-10), pp. 283-294. (doi: 10.1111/pim.12046)

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Trypanosoma brucei are extracellular kinetoplastid parasites transmitted by the blood-sucking tsetse fly. They are responsible for the fatal disease human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. In late-stage infection, trypanosomes cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and invade the central nervous system (CNS) invariably leading to coma and death if untreated. There is no available vaccine and current late-stage HAT chemotherapy consists of either melarsoprol, which is highly toxic causing up to 8% of deaths, or nifurtimox–eflornithine combination therapy (NECT), which is costly and difficult to administer. There is therefore an urgent need to identify new late-stage HAT drug candidates. Here, we review how current imaging tools, ranging from fluorescent confocal microscopy of live immobilized cells in culture to whole-animal imaging, are providing insight into T. brucei biology, parasite-host interplay, trypanosome CNS invasion and disease progression. We also consider how imaging tools can be used for candidate drug screening purposes that could lead to new chemotherapies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Myburgh, Dr Elmarie and Rodgers, Dr Jean
Authors: MacLean, L., Myburgh, E., Rodgers, J., and Price, H.P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Parasite Immunology
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1365-3024
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Parasite Immunology 35(9-10):283-294
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
371793The Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology ( Core Support )Andrew WatersWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)073990/Z/03/BIII - PARASITOLOGY
522031In vivo imaging models of African trypanosomiasis to support drug discovery programmes.Michael BarrettGates Foundation (GATES)OPPGH5337III - PARASITOLOGY