Wally Gobetz/Flickr

Mapování upíra

NEW HAVEN – Africká trypanosomiáza (HAT) – známá rovněž jako spavá nemoc – už dlouho trápí obyvatelstvo venkovské subsaharské Afriky. Pokud se tato parazitická infekce neléčí, bývá často smrtelná. Léčba je přitom složitá a vyžaduje vysoce kvalifikovaný lékařský personál, jenž se v postižených oblastech obtížně hledá. Paraziti, kteří nákazu šíří – ve střední a západní Africe je to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense a ve východní Africe T. b. rhodesiense – se přenášejí bodnutím nakažené mouchy tse-tse (Glossina morsitans morsitans).

Počátkem dvacátého století decimovaly epidemie HAT populace v mnoha koutech Afriky. Systematickým screeningem a léčbou milionů lidí se přenos nemoci ve 30. letech dramaticky snížil, avšak zvolnění tohoto úsilí v 50. a 60. letech umožnilo, aby se HAT objevila znovu a do začátku 90. let dosáhla úrovně epidemie. Kampaň Světové zdravotnické organizace dostala tuto nemoc do roku 2008 opět pod kontrolu a od té doby se nakazí pouze asi 10 000 lidí ročně. Miliony dalších však zůstávají v ohrožení.

Mouchy tse-tse samozřejmě představují vážné nebezpečí v oblastech, které si mohou nejméně dovolit léčbu nebo k ní mají nejhorší přístup. A tato hrozba se neomezuje pouze na člověka. Africkou zvířecí trypanosomiázu neboli „naganu“ způsobují paraziti Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax a T. brucei – všechny přenáší moucha tse-tse.

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